Tree Protection is Critical During Construction
September 7, 2016
The DFW area is one of the largest and fastest growing areas in the country. From residential to commercial projects, there are new structures going up just about everywhere. If you’re undertaking a new construction project, or a renovation to your home, we know you’re already managing a big list of issues. While tree protection during construction might not be first on your priority list, you could end up losing your existing trees if it’s not considered before construction begins.
Getth Nelson, ISA Certified Arborist here at Preservation Tree, explains why tree protection is critical during construction projects: “Tree protection fencing is critical to the preservation of trees during construction. Any project that involves grading, subsurface digging, chemical applications, etc. will be particularly stressful to existing trees. When contractors dig up large sections inside the tree’s root zone, the delicate feeder roots are severed. This reduces the tree’s ability to uptake water and critical nutrients. In addition, the wounded roots are exposed to soil borne fungal pathogens that may cause rot and other potential problems.”
That new driveway that just went in next door? Chances are it may just have cut off half of your tree’s root system. We often find large bundles of building materials along with construction equipment butted up to large established trees, crushing their roots, cutting into their trunks and breaking off branches. The team that works to build new homes and office buildings, and oversee large renovation projects would be wise to work with a certified arborist to oversee the protection of trees.
Whey is tree protection so critical?
If beautiful existing trees were a key part of your decision to buy your property, or you’ve spent years growing trees you planted, then the last thing you want is to lose them to construction. Trees that have been damaged from construction might not show signs of decline for several years, but over time they often go into decline, becoming safety hazards to your and your neighbors.
Hiring an arborist before you start construction, or ensuring your contractor has hired one directly, is key to keeping your trees healthy. Here is a list of what an arborist will address prior to and during a construction project:
Is there enough clearance for equipment to be moved in? If not, then preventative pruning may be required.
Clear definition of the tree-protection area.
Placement of off-limits signs on these areas.
Assigning dollar values to each tree within the construction zone.
Reducing soil contamination from solvents, paints, oil, combustible materials and effluent run-off are sources of long-term tree damage.
Large equipment causes soil compaction. Clear signage and/fencing to limit traffic and specifying the storage areas can save roots and the soil.
Piling excavated dirt around the base of a tree can injure its bark, starve the tree of nutrients, and introduce rot or fungus. Ensure that your crew has a clear space for excavated dirt.
Be sure your trees are getting water during construction, especially in summer. Cordoned off trees are often forgotten.
Feeding the trees before, during, and after construction will promote growth and minimize shock.
A deep root application of PhosphoJet to the soil can suppress possible soil borne fungal pathogens that might reach the roots if they are damaged. Adding compost extract and a root stimulator will also help to prepare the tree for any possible complications by improving soil microbes and root health.
Protecting the roots and trunk will be a worthwhile investment that could end up saving you from harm and headache in the future.