Planting and Lighting

Advice on Planting Trees

Unusual stresses are imposed upon trees that grow in the urban environment: pollution, soil compaction, mechanical damage and restricted water and nutrients. As a result of these unfavorable conditions, many trees experience stunted growth or a shortened life span. Urban foresters and soil scientists are developing more exact approaches to the problems and requirements of urban trees. Through proper maintenance, species selection and special planting techniques, a tree's health can be greatly improved.

When planting trees in urban settings, one must provide enriched soil, proper drainage and a means of providing water and air to the roots for proper tree development.

Arborists encourage use of the largest tree pit possible—in response, Neenah offers our EXTENDED collection to meet this growing need.

Neenah Tree Grates can provide the means of getting the proper moisture and air to the roots for a healthy, long-lived specimen. No typical tree pit works for all situations. Urban designers must develop tree pits for each unique site. Soil scientists, arborists and urban foresters can provide valuable assistance when dealing with the following sub-surface conditions: aeration, drainage, irrigation and feeding, enriched soil, methods of flushing salts and/or avoiding their accumulation and methods of minimizing future soil compaction.


Trees are beautiful in daylight – yet in the darkness of the night they become shapeless and non-descript. Extend their natural beauty through the hours of darkness with tree grate illumination. Most Neenah Tree Grates can be made with removable light-opening sections so that sub-grade lighting units can be easily installed. All light-opening sections are secured with countersunk screws to prevent unauthorized removal.

Painting Tree Grates and Tree Guards

Because of the unique properties of cast iron, tree grates from Neenah do not require painting for corrosion protection. The natural patina of an unpainted tree grate will be a pleasant complement to the trees and surrounding paved area – particularly in outdoor installations – and it has the added benefit of requiring no future maintenance.

For customers who choose to install painted grates, Neenah Foundry can offer the following:

  • Black Primer

    This is a primer coating, ready to accept your finished coat. Neenah Foundry recommends the application of a finish coat
    for the best coverage.

  • Black Powder Coat Finish

    This low gloss finish coat is applied with a minimum 2-mil thickness – our best offering.

  • Customer Specified

    Please advise your paint specification.

Fabricated steel tree guards are furnished standard with black powder coat paint . (Minimum thickness 2-milS).

Pedestrian Safety

Neenah offers a wide variety of tree grates with narrow openings of .375" or less for areas where your special pedestrian requirements may need to be taken into consideration.

As part of your landscaping plan, we recommend that pathways be provided which do not direct foot traffic over the tree grate installation. Near these pathways, or in any area that is potentially subject to foot traffic, we recommend the use of a narrow opening tree grate style.

It is the responsibility of the project designer to determine if special pedestrian requirements are necessary and subsequentlyto select grate styles and locations that meet those requirements. Neenah reccommends designers carefully evaluate prevailing local, regional, state, and federal specifications, including, but not limited to ADA (Americans with disibilities act) when making their selections.

As an additional safety precaution for pedestrians, as well as protection for your young trees, you may want to specify a tree guard to direct foot traffic away from the tree opening. See page 18 for our selection of fabricated tree guards.

Security Bolting

The best security a tree grate has is inherent in its own size and weight. For additional security needs, grates can be bolted to their frames at the factory and shipped assembled to the job site. Standard security bolting is done with flathead screws, countersunk flush with the grate surface. Greater security is available through the use of various tamper-proof bolts. Security bolting and tamper-proof bolting can be requested for most of our tree grate line.

Back to Top