Thursday, July 20, 2017

Contruction Mitigation

Click HERE to see some recent mitigation work of ours

As a consequence of our growing urban population, there is an increase in the construction of new homes, and the expansion and renovation of existing homes. This is putting demands on our urban trees and landscapes in ways that are new and unique.

It’s becoming more common for new owners of urban residential property to completely remove existing houses to construct the new home. This usually affects the older trees growing on the property. Construction plans should take into consideration the valuable assets that exist in these trees. Gibbs and Culpepper Tree Services is prepared to assist the property owner in providing for the proper protection of trees during the construction phase.

We think that it is necessary to consider taking the following precautions when beginning a construction project:

  • Fencing of the tree-protection area
  • Placement of off-limits signs on these areas
  • Minimizing soil contamination within the area. Solvents, paints, oil, combustible materials and effluent run-off are sources of long-term tree damage
  • Minimizing soil compaction - By limiting traffic and specifying the storage areas much of the damage caused by heavy equipment can be minimized. Deep mulching the root zones of the trees near the construction areas is extremely important.
  • Minimizing excavation - Piling excavated dirt around the base of a tree can injure its bark, starve the tree of nutrients, and introduce rot or fungus. Using extra reinforcement to modify paving materials can reduce the depth of cuts in the soil.
  • Route utilities around trees. Combine utilities in one path, preferably tunneling utilities, rather than digging a trench or a ditch.
  • Pruning on a necessity-only basis
  • Delaying the planting of any new material until the construction project is completed
  • Watering regularly during summer construction. Feeding the trees before, during, and after construction will promote growth and minimize shock.

If preserving your trees from damage during construction is a priority for you, a similar commitment from your general contractor will be required. Contractual penalties for tree damage can be a considerable incentive to insuring your contractor’s cooperation. Will it add to the cost of your construction? Yes, it probably will. But it will be far less than the costs to repair, remove and replace injured or dying trees.

Some of the trees on your lot are probably older than most of us. With directed care, they can continue to thrive as old friends, offering shade, beauty and value for generations to come.

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