Trees and public lighting

Trees and public lighting

Trees and outdoor lighting

Trees and lampposts are often placed alternately in a straight line. Due to the above and below-ground growth of a tree, this usually leads to problems. Above the ground, the crowns become too large and obstruct the light cast on the road. And tree roots are damaged during excavation to repair cabling. Many problems can be avoided during the design phase, by taking the mature dimensions of trees, both above and below ground, into account and finding alternative layouts.

What a shame...

Dimensions of trees

The size of a tree above and below ground naturally depends on the species, growth speed and the number of years the tree is allowed to stand in the location. In a sustainably designed outdoor space, the chosen tree species receive the space they require above and below ground, so they can grow to achieve the desired final look. With a number of simple design principles, the mature dimensions of a tree can be calculated easily.

Download 'Dimensions of trees' pdf

Placement of trees and lampposts

The placement of trees in the design should relate to the placement of the lampposts, so that they do not have a negative impact on each other and the desired image can also be managed over the years. Lampposts and cables must be clear of the root system of any trees placed. The lamp height, mature crown height and branch-free height of the trunk are important in order to calculate what the distance between the lampposts and trees should be. The distance between lampposts and trees is easy to calculate with this information.

Download 'Distance between lampposts and trees' pdf

Alternative layouts

Depending on the street profile, there are many design options for alternative layouts, in which trees and outdoor lighting have absolutely no impact on each other. The options depend on the width of the profile and the desired lighting level. They include:

  • Façade lighting to light the pavements.

  • Line lighting at street level along the road.

  • Lampposts on one side of the road and trees on the other.

  • Trees on the central reservation and lampposts along the two sides, or vice versa.

  • Spanning between façades or lampposts with hanging fixtures above the road.

Be inspired!

Some of this information appeared previously in Recommendation Part 3: Designs, by the Dutch Foundation for Illumination, with Ebben providing the contribution on trees.

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