Rooted in discovery: The power of ground-penetrating radar in arboricutural industry

ground penetrating radar
A profile view image from a ground-penetrating radar survey showing reflections produced by known graves. The two upside down U shapes are subsurface reflections from a material that differs from the native soil - in this case, metallic coffins. (GeoScan via CBC)

Special Report

Landmark Environmental Group Ltd. (LEGroup Ltd.) is an experienced Consulting Arboriculture and Landscape Architecture firm located in South Central Ontario, celebrating over 15 years of service excellence. Our Landscape Architecture and Arboriculture services maintain a high standard and represent a one-stop source for your arbor/landscape requirements for municipal approvals.

Our Firm is well-qualified in completing Consulting Arboriculture, Tree Inventory/Preservation Reports, Tree Appraisal & Compensation Plans, Risk Assessment and Provincially trained in Butternut Health Assessments to comply with the Endangered Species Act, 2007. To date, we have inventoried and assessed thousands of trees for new developments for municipal approvals (site plan, subdivision, and consents) using best practices for Arboriculture review.

LEGroup Ltd. has built a reputation for providing high quality Landscape Architectural services. Such work has involved creating landscape designs for long-term care facilities, executive residences, subdivision streetscapes, multi-residential projects, commercial/industrial developments, schools, parks, playgrounds, trail systems, stormwater management ponds, low impact development designs, shoreline restoration and site plans.

We excel at providing creative landscape design solutions for development proposals that retain existing features while providing opportunities to explore new landscape expressions and connecting future developments to their natural surroundings.

Our firm is a fully certified member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) and a fully certified member of the Ontario Professional Planning Institute (OPPI). LEGroup Ltd. also specializes in a wide variety of services related to consulting arboriculture. These services include tree inventories, tree assessments, tree preservation plans, regeneration and edge management plans and tree removal permits.

Our team includes Certified Arborists with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), qualified Tree Risk Assessment professionals and qualified Butternut Tree Assessors with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks. We are committed to continuous improvement and staying on the leading edge of current expertise.

Our Staff possess extensive training in Landscape Architecture, Arboriculture, Urban Design, and Urban Forestry, with firsthand experience in municipal planning approvals, associated policies, planning requirements, and Conservation Authority protocols.

Our services are much sought after by Developers, Architects, Engineers, Builders and Planning Firms in Peel, York, Simcoe, and Muskoka and we are well-equipped to navigate complex regulatory landscapes. Our repeat clients tell us that our value is in thoroughly understanding the development approvals process, foreseeing the challenges, and providing cost-effective innovative design solutions resulting in timely municipal approvals.

We set ourselves apart as highly qualified professionals who provide distinctive environmental solutions to a wide variety of residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional clients in both the private and public sectors.

Our latest service features the cutting-edge utilization of Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology which, applied to a tree’s root location and trunk assessment, offers a glimpse into a tree’s underground root system. As well, it allows us to peer into the heart of a tree’s trunk. Using radio waves, GPR penetrates the soil, constructing intricate 3D images of the root’s architecture and density.

Our experts can provide insights for development by shedding light on tree root conflicts with building footprints and identifying tree root-grading conflicts. As well, we can play a pivotal role in infill or boundary tree locations in construction projects by providing appropriate setbacks from existing onsite and offsite tree roots required to be retained, complying with the Ontario Forestry Act and municipal preservation requirements. GPR can help get infill projects approval in so far as development conflict with trees.

Using the same equipment for root location assessments, our GPR technology also allows us to examine the internal structures of a tree. This breakthrough technology offers vital information about cavities, decay, and other potential problems that may compromise a tree’s structural integrity.

Our commitment to tree care and preservation is unwavering, and this innovative application of GPR further displays our dedication to safeguarding the natural beauty in our landscapes. GPR also aids in solving complex municipal tree protection by-law issues throughout the planning process which saves the development time and money. By harnessing the power of GPR, LEGroup Ltd. can offer this cutting-edge service to satisfy municipal ordinances and provide quicker approvals.

Step into a greener future with Landmark Environmental Group Ltd. by contacting us today! Visit our website at for more information and to kickoff your project with ease in mind.

Submitted by Brock Bell, BScF, ISA Consulting Arborist ON-2850A, ISA Tree Appraisal Qualified #2790 Registered Professional Forester (Provisional)