Tree Protection Versus Construction Reality

New infrastructure projects for transportation, energy and water transmission are increasing in conflict with trees. Consulting arborists can develop tree protection specifications but will they be implemented in the field?
A Mature Eucalyptus Tre
A Mature Eucalyptus Tre
SAN DIEGO - Aug. 7, 2014 - PRLog -- It is not unusual for trees to conflict with infrastructure projects.  Whether a new road or highway, electrical distribution system or cellular tower, these improvements are often located in areas containing existing urban forests.  I often work as a sub-consultant to engineering and landscape architectural firms, providing tree inventories, designing specifications and best management practices (BMP’S), for tree protection during construction, field implementation, and monitoring.

Fortunately, there is an increased awareness toward tree preservation.  Project managers, engineers, landscape architects and government agencies frequently utilize a certified arborist to consult on tree protection issues.  A certified arborist is qualified to make recommendations to resolve conflicts between trees and infrastructure improvements, and design and implement tree protection BMP’s during construction

I separate tree protection into two tasks.  The first task is collecting the tree data needed to understand the construction constraints for designing tree protection specifications and best management practices.  Data collection usually involves taking a tree inventory, recording size, location and tree health metrics.

The second task for tree protection is implementing the tree protection specifications and best management practices in the field.  Field implementation can be very challenging due to lack of knowledge and education among contractors and consultants.

This article discusses tree and infrastructure conflicts, how trees are damaged during construction, tree protection best management practices (BMP’s) and why field implementation can be difficult and why teaming with the general contractor can make or break a tree protection plan.

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Mr. Jeremy Rappoport
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