Terran's Tips

Preserving Trees Post Construction

Wooded lots are in high demand by people seeking home building sites. The price of a building lot with trees is usually much higher than one without, and buyers are willing to pay 5 to 10 percent, even up to 20 percent more for an existing home with trees.

However, home construction can damage and even kill the much-desired trees, turning them into an economic liability. Please keep in mind that any home improvement project like adding a drainage system or irrigation can harm tree roots if the trenches are dug too close to the trees. Construction damage is not limited to the actual building of a house and any project may have a negative effect on your trees.

Symptoms of trees suffering from construction damage may appear the next growing season, or may take two or three years to appear. When the roots are damaged, the tree is not able to take up enough water and nutrients to feed all the branches. The result is die-back in the top of the tree and at the ends of the branches as the areas farthest from the roots system begin to die. Some trees develop yellow foliage as a result of nutrient deficiencies. Foliage may be small and sparse. Tree Growth may slow down.

To revitalize trees suffering from construction damage, you can thin the crown, place mulch over the root system of the tree and fertilize. Thinning the crown may be the most effective way to help a tree in decline. A tree with a damaged root system is not able to sustain all of its branches and leaves. Removing dead or dying branches will help to bring the crown to root ratio back into balance. This may increase the tree’s chances for survival. However, do not remove healthy, growing branches.

Mulching with organic material, such as wood chips or shredded bark over the root zone will simulate the forest floor environment. This soft, fertile covering encourages the growth of fine roots which absorb more nutrients, water, and oxygen. Fertilizing may seem to bring trees back to life by stimulating more luxuriant foliage, but no amount of fertilizer will save the tree if root damage is extensive.

Even if no symptoms appear, give extra care to trees following construction work. Water well during dry spells and fertilize once a year in early spring or late fall.

Trees add value to your home. The cost and care of preventing tree damage during construction protects those assets to your home.

For more information on preventing construction damage to trees or revitalizing damaged trees, contact your certified team of arborists at Woodland Tree Service.

Please email joanna@woodlandtree.com or call us at (901) 309-6779.

Posted by Mark Allen at 14:14