How Construction Work Can Damage Your Tree

If you’re recently purchased a piece of property with large mature trees on it, you might want to preserve the existing trees instead of planting new ones. As you may have learned from other posts, having mature trees on your property can greatly increase the value of your home. There are several things to be aware of when building your new home in hopes of preserving the surrounding trees and making sure that they don’t become a hazard in the future.

I hope you enjoyed all of these great tips when it comes to how construction work can damage trees and how to prevent that.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to contact one of our Denver tree service specialists to get expert advice on whether or not you should keep existing trees. We offer expert advice when it comes to tree removal and tree trimming in Denver and surrounding areas like Arvada, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, and Aurora.
This is some of the information I found from a helpful book called The Homeowner’s Complete Tree & Shrub Handbook.

While you can’t control the weather, you might be able to manage other environmental risk factors to trees and shrubs on your property. Construction damage to trees are the most destructive trauma that a tree can endure. Soil compaction on residential lots, trenching in root zones, grade changes, and band pruning are ways that people can harm their trees. 

The good news is that you can preserve trees from most construction damage and find trees that remain healthy and beautiful in stressful environments. In this blog post, you’ll learn about some of the challenges that trees face and learn how to keep them from harm. 

Trauma for Trees

Building a house maybe be thrilling for yourself, but traumatic for the trees on our surrounding your property. Construction equipment will roll over root zones, squeezing air from the soil and slowing down root drainage. Rainfall on the bare soil also increases compaction as well as human footfalls across root zones. Because compacted soil is denser than well-aerated soil. it’s harder for toots to penetrate. 

Root growth and spread is hindered, making it harder for trees and shrubs  to absorb water and nutrients. Drought stunts tree growing in compacted soils, while flooding lessens the amount of air that gets to their roots. Disturbed, compacted, urban and suburban soils may lack mycorrhizae and essential elements, making it hard for trees to establish. 

In neighborhoods with underground utilities, laying electrical cable from electrical box to the house often cuts through precious top foot of sill where most tree roots lie, wrecking the network of roots the trench encounters. There also may be trenches for gas, telephone, sewer, water, and cable television. Remember, even if a trench seems far from the tree, the root zone may be double or triple the diameter of the crown. 

New construction may necessitate grade changes to improve drainage on the property. Roots that were formerly in the top few inches of soil may be buried alive under loads of sand and topsoil to ultimately suffocate and die. To preserve existing trees, avoid raising or lowering the soil level under the canopy of the tree. 

Tree wells

Building a tee will is one way to maintain air circulation and drainage in the root zone. Tree wells are walled shafts to the original soil grade in landscapes where soil levels have been artificially increased. Digging old fashioned tree wells dug near a trunk doesn’t work. If you’re trying to save a tree with a tree will, you must build it beyond the tree’s drip-line, then grade the soil outside the well to keep runoff from flowing into the well. There’s not guarantee that the tree will survive construction, but you improve the chances. by leaving undisturbed the trunk and as wide an area as possible around it. 

As always, you should contact a tree service specialist in Denver to diagnose any tree and come up with a strategy to either save the tree or remove it. For tree removal services in surrounding communities in Denver, visit our services page here. Again, we offer tree removal in Arvada and other nearby cities!

Visit some of our other articles to learn more about trees!
Stump Grinding 101

How To Determine the Age of a Tree

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