The Tree Irrigators are said to be a key addition to Green-tech’s irrigation offering and “will help the newly planted trees establish quickly and make keeping them well-watered an easy task” on the Kensington project.
127 Kensington High Street was formerly the site of the original, highly regarded Pontings department store. The store was demolished in the 1970s and replaced with two separate office blocks. To provide much improved mixed-use space, these structures were part removed leaving 30% remaining, and added to with extended areas and an additional two floors, as well as three levels of outdoor terracing.
The £53M project will provide primarily commercial space, with retail space on the ground floor and basement, as well as a new arcade entrance to Kensington High Street Underground station. It has an environmental BREEAM rating target of excellent.
The western side has been realigned to recreate the original street line of Wrights Lane, and the upper levels have been set back to create three terraces offering much needed outdoor amenity space.
Green-tech was contacted by Elite Landscapes Ltd, with whom the company has a long working relationship going back over 15 years, to quote for the tree planting in soft beds on the terraces, including anchoring systems, underground root ball irrigation, and for the larger trees, slow-release tree Irrigator bags.
Green-tech launched the tree Irrigator bag in 2020 in response to requests for a surface-fed but slow-release irrigation system. When using direct irrigation, either from above or using perforated rings around the rootball, Green-tech says there is always the risk of significant water wastage, whereby a lot of the water soaks straight down to the subsoil when delivered in one go, bypassing the root system that needs it.
Made from green PVC mesh cloth, with a permeable membrane in the base, the Tree irrigator bag can hold up to 60 litres in a single bag (95 when doubled up), which it slowly releases over a period of 5-9 hours depending on the conditions. Green-tech says it is very easy to fit post-planting, and simply wraps around the tree trunk and is zipped up, then filled via a filler opening at the neck.
On open terraces where the beds are exposed to the effects of high winds, the company says the Tree Irrigator bags also help by keeping the soil surface around the rootball covered, which prevents drying out.
Mark Browne, Green-tech’s Key Account Manager, commented: “We have worked with Elite for many years, and it is always nice to help out on such prestigious projects. The Tree Irrigators are a fantastic addition to our irrigation offering, and they will help the newly planted trees establish quickly and make keeping them well-watered an easy task.”