Who Will Speak For Your Trees?
Written by: Nathan Schuettpelz, RCA #732, Consulting Department Manager
The thought of new construction or renovation can be an exciting time in life! It can also quickly become overwhelming as the reality of planning sets in. I know, I recently lived through my own home remodel in 2020. Your initial planning team is diverse including architects, engineers, and builders. Before you proceed, one critical team member needs to be included: your ISA Certified Arborist. We can speak for your trees!
Successful construction around trees requires careful planning. Tree preservation is an important component of a project’s master plan. It needs to be properly analyzed at the very first stage of the process. Most importantly, a tree preservation plan must be in place before any piece of heavy machinery drives onto the site.
Your arborist can help in determining which tree species or individual trees are the most important to protect. We can help determine which species can withstand minor grade changes or minimal root disruption. We will also note any questionable trees on the site that best be removed before any construction activities begin.
Preserving trees during construction increases the marketability and value of your home, and enjoyment of your property. Aesthetics and functional values (i.e. energy savings, stormwater retention, air quality, etc.) are enhanced. Mature trees provide crucial shade in your yard where you can relax during these hot summer months. By properly preserving trees, you avoid costly future maintenance of declining trees.
Too often, three to five years after construction is completed, our office responds to forestry requests from concerned homeowners. They were just outside when they noticed that some of the trees surrounding the previous construction are not looking good. When our arborist arrives to evaluate the site, the homeowner feels some relief thinking that Wachtel Tree Science can work their magic and the trees will immediately recover.
Unfortunately, recovering from construction injury can take several years with several treatment practices before positive results become apparent. In some instances, the downward spiral of tree decline is already too accelerated to be able to save the trees.
By bringing our consulting arborists in early in the planning process, we can:
• identify trees suitable for preservation
• define tree protection zones and critical root zones
• perform a tree risk assessment, outline protective measures
• plan tree care (pruning, root pruning, fertilization, mulching, insect/disease diagnosis, and follow-up treatments).
So, before you get too far along with your construction project, contact Wachtel Tree Science. Your trees will thank you!