Construction Tree Care
Are you building an addition, constructing a new home, or landscaping your property?
When building an addition, constructing a new home or landscaping your property, it is imperative that the homeowner consider the existing trees on the property.
Many homeowners or prospective homeowners are so excited about the improvements to their existing home or the construction of their new home that they fail to realize that the existing trees suffer greatly from the improvements, excavation or landscaping.
When a new home is constructed, improvements to an existing home begin, or improvements to the landscaping are scheduled, the existing trees need to be protected from heavy equipment compacting the soil, soil grade changes, and root damage from trenches or well and sewer excavation. All of these conditions also cause stress. Stress decimates the tree’s capabilities to protect themselves from diseases and pests. This is a vicious cycle of decline. Of course, proper tree preservation selection is another first line of defense for cost effectiveness for the homeowner’s wallet.
Grade Changes – When the existing soil line is altered around the tree’s stem or root area. Removing or adding soil to these areas is detrimental to the health of the tree. Soil alteration diminishes the tree’s ability to sustain a proper balance of drainage, oxygen, nutrients and water uptake.
Soil Compaction – When foot, equipment or storage is concentrated in the dripline (the area the foliage extends beyond the stem of the tree).This concentration of traffic alters the number of air particles in the soil; therefore, rendering the drainage, oxygen, nutrient and water uptake unbearable for the tree to survive.
Root Alteration – When the roots of trees are severed or mangled. This severing or mangling impairs the tree’s ability to receive and sustain life.
Tree Selection – Choosing which trees are to be saved during construction is critical. It is imperative that the homeowner discuss this with a Certified Arborist. Saving a declining tree is not cost effective for the homeowner. Interior trees on a lot are not designed to withstand pressures of wind, rain and snow. This is defined as taper. This can also be discussed with a Certified Arborist.
Construction damage is a tragic and slow death spiral for trees on the homeowner’s property. By the time the homeowner realizes that the tree is in decline, the builder/construction contractor is long gone and in most cases does not even realize that his actions have caused damage to the value of the homeowner’s property. After all, the builder/construction contractor is educated in the construction of homes, the Certified Arborist is educated in the preservation and care of trees, and the homeowner is the client of both. It is time that we Certified Arborists, Builders/Construction Contractors and homeowners join forces to protect the existing assets on the property.
Many times we receive telephone calls from homeowners that are exacerbated by the “sudden” decline of their trees. It truth be told, there is never a “sudden” decline from construction damage. If care is not taken to preserve the health of the trees on the homeowner’s property during the construction phase, the damage to the trees starts the first day of construction.
A typical Diagnosis Interview:
1. Telephone call from client to diagnose the unhealthy status of their trees.
2. We arrive at the property and through queries we discover that the home was constructed approximately 2 to 7 years ago. The homeowner purchased the lot as a “wooded lot” or they purchased the home because they fell in love with the trees.
3. It is a sad day when we investigate and discover that the soil grade has been changed, the soil has been compacted or the root zone has been compromised due to construction. All of this could have been prevented if the homeowner had been aware of the consequences of unprotected trees during the construction phase.
If only the homeowner would have invested in a Certified Arborist Pre-Construction Consultation, the trees could have been saved or the cost of cure and treatment could have been reduced.
What can the Homeowner do to Protect their Assets?
When considering home additions, new home construction or landscape construction, consult with a Certified Arborist prior to construction to eliminate tree loss and protect your finances.
Insist that the Builder/Construction Contractor and the Certified Arborist work together with you, the homeowner, as a team.
The trees and landscape increase the value of your home. They are an asset and it is imperative to protect the trees on your property.
We, at Victorian Gardens, are knowledgeable in the care of trees on construction or landscape sites. Telephone us for a Pre-Construction or a Pre-Landscaping Consultation to prevent the loss of trees on your property. 810-338-6531
We have a Board Certified Master Arborist, 1 Certified Arborists, 1 Certified Arborist Utility Specialist, 2 Registered Consulting Arborist, 2 Certified Tree Care Safety Professionals, 1 Certified Tree Risk Assessors, 1 Certified Line Clearance Arborist, 1 Licensed Pesticide Applicator, and 1 MIOSHA Level 1 Construction – Health and Safety Managers for your convenience.