Slaughter Elementary School sits right on Fern Valley Road, where there is a serious amount of car and truck traffic. The school also happens to be sited in an area of very poor drainage. Slaughter has worked with MSD on improving the draining with naturalized, reforestation areas, but still had many areas of the campus without shade. The principal made a request of the ground staff for more trees.
The planting design at Slaughter starts at the front of the school with some Swamp White Oaks to provide pollution interception from the road. The oaks are underplanted with Redbud cultivars.
The playground area will also benefit from the planting of more oaks and some Red Maples that can tolerate the “wet feet” that comes with poor drainage. Around the parking area, we planted a fruitless cultivar of hedge apple that is known for its tolerance of poor soils and pollution — a very tough urban tree.
The rear of the property, where water stands for long periods when it is rainy, is planted with Bald Cypress, Pond Cypress, and Sycamores. These are all trees that will be very useful for pulling some of the excess water out of the area.