Protect trees from construction

Are you planning to build or remodel a home? Are your city’s streets, curbs, sidewalks, and buried utilities about to be widened, modernized, or replaced? Before you start, consider the impact of construction on plants.

Trees and shrubs contribute to property values by enhancing appearance, reducing noise, cutting energy costs, screening unsightly views, and attracting songbirds and other wildlife. Unfortunately, plants meant to be part of a home’s permanent landscape often are needlessly damaged or killed during construction. Careful planning and coordination with a tree-care specialist and your builder can reduce damage and save you the trouble and expense of treating or removing injured plants.

This publication explains some things that landowners can do to minimize the impact of construction on trees. It describes landscape protection plans, special construction techniques, symptoms of damage, and treatment strategies. Although the information presented focuses on trees, it also can be applied to protecting shrubs.

Each construction site has its own unique set of soil, tree species, and building process conditions. For this reason we recommend that you get advice from a professional urban forester or arborist with experience in protecting trees from construction damage. This person will be familiar with the growth characteristics and common problems faced by tree species in your area. He or she can help you evaluate plant health and the likely impacts of construction activities.

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