How To Protect Trees During The Excavation Process

Jason Hunt

When carrying out an excavation near a tree, you are always at risk of doing serious harm to the tree. This is problematic because trees can increase a property's value. Fortunately, there are some things you can do that will maximize the chances that you will be able to keep your tree. The trees that are at the most risk are those with shallow roots.

Preventing Common Forms of Damage

One common way that the tree roots can be damaged by excavation is when the tree roots are damaged when the digging instrument severs the roots. The best way to avoid this is to hire a certified arborist who can identify the location of the tree roots so the excavators can minimize the risk of damaging the roots. Arborists also usually have equipment that is necessary to dig around roots without damaging them.

Environmental changes caused through the excavation process can also damage the tree. The excavation equipment is heavy enough to cause the soil to become more compact. This reduces the amount of air that reaches the root zone, which can be harmful to the trees. The soil may need to be cultivated to allow the trees more access to oxygen.

Removing Tree Branches

During the excavation process, the tree branches might need to be thinned out to make room for the excavation equipment. This should be done with consultation from a tree specialist because removing too many branches can kill the tree by inhibiting its ability to engage in photosynthesis. Also, in hot and arid climates, removing too many branches will cause the tree trunk to be more exposed to sunlight and this can further damage it.

Even when steps are taken to prevent tree damage, the trees can be damaged accidentally if care isn't taken. The area surrounding the tree needs to be sectioned off to keep traffic away from the tree.

Cutting Down Unwanted Trees

Some trees will need to be removed during the excavation process because they are simply in the way of construction. These trees need to be removed carefully because they can fall and damage the trees that you intend to save. Also, trees should not be removed when nearby trees are in full leaf because this can cause sudden changes in the environment that can be a shock for nearby trees.

Excavation might seem like a dangerous activity from a tree's perspective, but it doesn't have to be. With the right consultation and protective measures, you'll be able to save many of the nearby trees. Talk to an excavating contractor to discuss your options.


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