Why Arborists Are Vital for Construction Site Preparation

Arborists perform a range of services, including lot clearing. They can advise on municipal regulations regarding tree removal and ensure construction practices are within the law.

It takes a lot of training, knowledge and experience to work in the arboriculture industry. It can also be physically demanding, especially when climbing or operating machinery is involved.

Identifying Trees Worth Preserving

An ISA certified arborist can help property owners identify which trees are worth conserving during site development. They will assess the tree’s condition, age and location to determine which trees are best suited for preservation. They will then create protection zones around these trees to prevent construction activities from disturbing the root systems. These zones will be depicted on a site map or landscape overlay, making it easy for construction workers to see and avoid the areas where trees need to remain unaffected.

When assessing a tree, an arborist will also look for signs of health issues such as discoloration of leaves or insect infestation. They can identify the type of pest, fungus or disease causing the issue and recommend treatment methods that are safe for the surrounding environment. Arborists can also assist with pruning and other maintenance tasks that are necessary during the construction process.

Mature, well-maintained trees can increase property value by 15% or more. This is because they provide a wide range of environmental benefits, including improved air quality, reduced heat island effects and enhanced social and physical well-being. Proper care and maintenance can ensure that these trees will continue to thrive for years to come.

Once a site has been prepared, an arborist will work closely with the construction team to monitor the progress of the project and ensure that all tree protection measures are upheld. They will use tools like ArboStar to track and document all impacts to the trees throughout the construction phase.

When the construction process is complete, an arborist will re-evaluate the preserved trees to identify any latent damage or stress caused by the construction project. They can then recommend post-construction treatments such as pruning, watering or pest management to help the trees recover and thrive once again.

Arborists, especially an arborist in construction, are trained to recognize the signs of disease or pest problems in trees, from discoloration of the leaves to root rot. They have the skills and knowledge to treat these issues safely and effectively, ensuring that the tree will remain healthy and strong for years to come.

Creating Tree Protection Zones

Arborists help property owners develop strategies to preserve existing trees during construction projects. These strategies can include the creation of tree protection zones, which are areas around trees where construction activities must be limited to minimize damage. The process of establishing and monitoring these zones is time-consuming and expensive, but it can save money in the long run by preventing costly solutions such as relocating or replacing mature trees that are damaged during construction.

The first step in creating a tree protection zone is to perform a tree stand delineation. This involves visiting the construction site with key project team members to identify valuable trees and determine their suitability for preservation. This should be done once there is a general understanding of the project goals, but before a conceptual plan is finalized. This will allow the arborist to influence the location of roads, driveways, buildings, drainage and other site elements before the concept is locked in. It can also guide the placement of scenic vistas, wildlife corridors and other landscape features that can make or break the overall ambiance of the project.

Once the protective zones have been established, it is important to work with the arborist during the planning phase to ensure that all construction activities will be conducted within these boundaries. This may involve discussing alternative excavation methods, soil protection techniques, recommendations for cantilevering or bridging over a portion of the root system and identifying access routes and material storage locations near trees.

During the construction phase, it is critical to have an arborist onsite during the entire duration of the project to monitor the integrity of the protective measures and ensure that no unintentional damage occurs. The arborist will be able to provide guidance when unforeseen situations arise and help the project manager come up with solutions on the fly, which can save time and money by avoiding rework and potential safety issues.

In addition, an experienced arborist can provide advice on how to avoid grading and other site impacts that could negatively affect the health of the protected trees. For example, large manufactured slopes that are created uphill from the protected trees can remove their water source and create conditions conducive to erosion, which can undermine a tree’s stability.

Identifying Trees That Need to Be Removed

Arborists help you determine which trees are worth preserving and which might need to be removed during construction. They will assess the health, stability, and risk factors of each tree and recommend steps accordingly. They may suggest ways to alter the original plan that will mitigate impacts to the tree, such as relocating utility lines or suggesting methods to bridge or block access to critical root zones.

If a tree is in poor condition, it can pose a threat to people and property. Arborists know how to approach these situations efficiently and effectively. They can prune or cable a dangerous tree to mitigate the risks and prevent damage during storms or high winds.

Some types of injuries to trees may not be repairable, even with the help of an arborist. This is because a number of factors can affect the tree’s structural integrity, such as trunk rot, root diseases, or insect infestations. These issues are not always visible from the ground, and only an experienced arborist will be able to assess them.

Once the initial assessment is complete, an arborist will work with construction teams to ensure that protection measures are implemented during the project. This will include ensuring that any digging is done in the right sequence and that no unintentional damage to roots occurs. They can also monitor the site during construction to make sure that any damage that is identified and addressed as soon as possible.

Arborists have a deep understanding of how to treat and preserve trees, both in the urban and natural environment. This knowledge makes them vital to the process of lot clearing, which often involves the destruction of many trees and the removal of other natural plants. They are skilled at assessing the impact of such changes on the surrounding ecosystem and can provide solutions that are both cost effective and environmentally responsible.

The skills and training of an arborist make them indispensable to construction companies looking to develop a site. They can help you prepare a lot for development in a way that is sustainable, environmentally friendly, and in compliance with local regulations.

Creating a Plan of Action

Once the arborist has mapped the existing trees and their root systems, they can create a plan of action for preserving them throughout construction. This includes the creation of Tree Protection Zones. These zones are areas where no site disturbing activities can take place, such as digging or trenching. This is important to avoid cutting into the root system of a tree, which can cause permanent damage.

These protective zones are not only necessary for protecting the health of a tree, but they also help reduce construction costs and time. In addition, they protect construction workers from being exposed to the hazards of working in or near trees. This is especially true for those involved in aerial course construction and maintenance, where many of the safety requirements are unique to this type of work.

The arborist will also identify the best time to prune or remove a tree during construction. This may involve the removal of a few branches to reduce the impact on a construction site or removing larger branches that are too close to buildings or other structures. Ideally, this should be done before the start of the construction process.

Lastly, the arborist will provide recommendations for any other treatments needed to ensure that the soil is healthy for the existing trees. These include reducing the amount of soil compaction, which can affect root growth and reduce a tree’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. This is usually accomplished by creating holes and fractures in the soil with high-pressure injectors or augers. Alternatively, trenching can be used to dig one to two feet deep trenches oriented like spokes on a wagon wheel around the critical roots of the tree and then filled with porous material. The tree root zone should then be covered with 4 to 6 inches of organic mulch.

An arborist’s role is vital to ensuring that construction projects are carried out in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. They are highly trained professionals that can perform complex tasks, often using specialized tools and equipment. They are able to offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can benefit the entire construction project.