Industry Update: Leake and Haege Publication changing the Landscape Architecture Industry

SESL Australia

Following the release of the publication “Soils for Landscape Development” by Elke Haege and Simon Leake, the Australian Landscaping industry has had the scientific information in hand to incorporate professional soil science standards into landscape design. The Leake and Haege publication is gaining traction as the key supporting text for soil specifications in the landscape architecture industry and is used by major Councils and Authorities including Sydney City Council, Melbourne City Council, Melbourne Metro Rail Authority and many private landscape architecture and soil manufacturing firms. The impact this publication is having on the industry is vital to the industry’s future and the growing urban landscaping scene.

As a result of the Leake and Haege’s publication, appropriate and accurate methods of compliance testing for soils are becoming standard procedures on large projects where problems and defects in sub-standard soil specifications have been greatly reduced.

A new pressing issue the landscape architecture industry faces is the removal of the improved quality assurance protocols from their specifications in order for their clients to save costs. What Leake and Haege present through this publication is the ability for an accurate and site-specific soil specification to reduce costs for the overall project and ensure the longevity and success of landscaping projects. The removal of QA processes puts the success of the proposed landscape back into question. The tree rooting volume estimator ( has been used to resolve tree root volume versus tree species selection on several large projects allowing a transparent and interactive way to iterate until these two fundamental street tree issues align.


Note: A new booklet form of Leake and Haege (Leake and Haege 2017) was developed to simplify and facilitate the uptake process by the industry even further by consolidating its information into a professional step by step standard. (contact SESL Australia for a copy).