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.
 
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. 

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. 

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. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: