CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT ARBORIST CONSULTATION
All too often, we are called to check trees that are stressed or dying as a result of damage during construction or landscaping activities. Almost always the story is that no planning or care was undertaken to mitigate injury to the trees during these development activities. One to three years after the excavation, construction, contouring, filling, paving, etc., the trees are thinning and dying back. Often there is little we can do to save the trees that are in decline.The preferred course of action is to have a consultation before the harmful activities take place.
When properties are developed, existing trees are put at risk. Decisions have to be made regarding which trees should be preserved and strategies to achieve that goal must be implemented. An experienced arborist can help make the decisions and plan for actions to maximize the survival potential of the trees on the site. Following are some of the important considerations:
- Evaluate all trees and determine which trees have potential to be valuable landscape trees and are thus candidates for preservation. Factors include location relative to planned construction, structural defects, future disease or pest hazards, preferences of property owner, and others.
- Remove trees that are not to be preserved to enhance access for construction equipment. Do this and needed pruning of remaining trees before building and landscaping. Treat ashes for ash borer prevention and elms for Dutch elm disease prevention if those species are to be retained. Consider treating retained native birches if they will be significantly stressed.
- Plan for means to avoid serious root injuries, decrease soil compaction, and minimize fill over root systems. When fill is essential, build wells and do tiling if needed.
- Restrict traffic of heavy vehicles and equipment. Where traffic is unavoidable, use padding to minimize root injury and compaction.
- Plan for safe utility access. Plan for areas that will be paved.