Silva Cells

Under the sidewalk in front of Brightside’s office, Silva Cells are helping trees grow larger and live longer. Silva Cells are a type of suspended pavement which prevents soil from getting compacted around tree roots allowing them to grow freely without buckling sidewalks. Plus, Silva Cells allow the trees to get the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow larger and live for many years.

Silva Cells

Often trees along a city street live for only 7-10 years but with ample space for their roots to grow, trees in Silva Cells are able to live for decades and provide all the benefits of a large, healthy tree – shade, beauty, habitat, energy conservation and storm water management.

Brightside’s Silva Cell demonstration was the first in the Midwest to incorporate a porous surface into the design.  The paver walkway allows for more water and oxygen to reach the tree’s roots. The Silva Cells also serve as a storm water storage space.  Four baldcypress trees and a redbud are planted in Brightside’s Silva Cell area.

Large, beautiful trees also help increase property values and make neighborhoods more desirable.  One more reason why it’s important to keep professionals and community leaders aware of practices that can help benefit us and our environment.  As Brightside’s Silva Cells were being installed, nearly 200 engineers, planners, foresters, arborists, and elected officials participated in workshops to learn the benefits of Silva Cells.

Silva Cell Installation

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Silva Cells are an application that would most likely be implemented by municipalities or commercial developments.  What’s important for professionals to know is not only do Silva Cells give tree roots the space they need to keep a tree growing until maturity, the Silva Cell framework also allows for utility lines such as gas and electric to run through the system making it easier to access, if needed.  Plus, Silva Cells are now an approved best practice by the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.



To learn more about Silva Cells and how they can benefit your community, check out the DeepRoot website.

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