The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) manages more than 50,000 miles of highway and freeway lanes. Part of its mission is integrating the highway transportation system with its natural environment and promoting sustainability wherever possible. Highway planting can address a number of important issues, including storm water pollution prevention, erosion control, windbreaks, and graffiti reduction.
Given the current drought conditions in California, Caltrans is always on the lookout for new and more water-efficient ways to achieve its planting goals. Since this fall, it is experimenting with the Cocoon to establish trees without irrigation and reduce labor and maintenance costs alongside Californian highways. So far we have planted Cocoons near Paso Robles, a winemaking region, and Big Sur, a well-known scenic coastal region.