New construction takes place every day, whether new homes are being built or renovations are being made. Understanding how to avoid or repair tree damage caused by construction will help you protect your landscape and avoid the need for tree removal in Wilmington, DE.
Before construction, you want to make sure you first inventory the trees on your site and carefully select the ones you absolutely want to protect. Work with your contractor to map out the location of these trees in relation to planned construction. Marking areas as off-limits with bright orange tape or fencing can help you to protect the trees and their delicate root systems during the construction. Certified arborists or tree care professionals can help you determine the diameter of the area that needs to be avoided.
Make sure your trees are in the best health possible with regular watering and fertilization, as well as any necessary tree care services like pruning and trimming.
Soil compaction near a tree’s root system is the most common reason for construction damage. A certified arborist can help you set up a buffer to prevent issues like soil compaction before construction begins.
Trunk damage is possible when you have large construction equipment being used on the property. Some arborists recommend wrapping the trunk or putting a wooden protective “box” around the tree to avoid impact.
Monitor the construction process and inspect the designated trees. If you see any problems or potential issues, be sure to speak with the site manager and document the situation with photos. Once construction is complete, make a final walk-through with the site manager to ensure the trees have no visible damages or signs of stress. Keep in mind that damages may take several years to manifest visibly.
The most serious damage may remain hidden under the soil in the root system. In general, the first indicators of damage to deciduous trees may include wilted or scorched leaves or drooping branches, followed be an early leaf drop or premature fall coloring. For coniferous trees, you may see excessive inner needles dropping and in later years, yellowed leaves, sparse leaf coverage, and dead branches.
Other signs may include out of season flowering, abnormal winter dieback, excessive amounts of seeds, and water sprout formation on the trunk. These serve as a defense mechanism for your trees as they try to ensure their survival.
When a tree is damaged by construction, the energy generally spent on growth must now be redirected towards wound closure and regrowth. This makes your trees vulnerable to added stress, insects and diseases, and damage from severe weather.
To minimize the effects of construction damage, thoroughly water plants before and immediately after any direct damage, and continue careful periodic watering throughout the next several seasons.
Consult with a tree care specialist who can identify whether excessive soil additions have been made around your trees and can take the necessary steps to restore the original grade safely and effectively.
Your tree care specialist can help reduce the effects of soil compaction with careful aeration and vertical mulching. With the help of your professional, a determination can be made as to whether your injured trees may need additional nutrients and fertilization treatments to recover or if the damage has caused your tree to be dangerous, necessitating tree removal.
If you are considering construction, or have just completed construction on your site, consult with Stein Tree Care professionals. Our tree care specialists can help identify and treat all phases of construction damage to your trees from open tree wounds to severed root systems, insects, and diseases. Contact us today for all needs with regard to tree healthcare and tree removal in Wilmington, DE.
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