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Home Protecting Trees From Nearby Construction
Tree protection is an important part of new construction planning. In this video, Matt Risinger and Don Gardner, consulting arborist, discus how to develop a tree-protection plan. Using a live oak at a construction site as an example, Gardner points out that it is likely 250 years old and registered with the City of Austin. Creating a plan to ensure that the tree survives construction and thrives in the aftermath starts with protecting the root system from being cut and/or compacted. In this case, there was no cutting on the tree side of the construction, so it need only be protected from compaction. A tree protection fence keeps all activity out of the area and the fence was placed as far away from the trunk as possible. Make sure the area is moist between the tree and the building, keeping small equipment and foot traffic away that can cause any kind of compaction because of the mulch layer. There should be a buffer of four inches from the fence, but six inches is better. It is important not to push the air out of the root zone. A drip line should be added all the way around the edges of the canopy, so that the roots get extra moisture. It's important to think about adding the drip line since it's the root system that is to be protected. Watering and fertilizing during the construction project involves putting organic compost against the soil before the mulch. The organic compost is the fertilizer, it's tree food with essential elements and minerals. Then add the mulch layer. Feed the trees during construction and protect the root system. If it is dry or hot, it's critical to water any tree, but especially during construction. In the winter, once a month with a hose sprinkler for an hour/location. In the summer, twice a month," with two hours at the first location to get water down approximately six inches into the soil. Consider a tree protection plan on all build sites.

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