Your Guide to Protecting Trees During Construction

In the dynamic landscape of Central Texas, construction projects, big or small, can pose significant risks to your trees. Wilder Tree Company emphasizes the importance of including tree protection in your construction planning. Here are steps you can take to safeguard your trees from construction-related damage.


Understanding How Construction Affects Trees

Construction can harm trees in various ways:


Trunk and Crown Damage: Equipment can break branches or damage the trunk and bark.

Root Damage: Mature trees have expansive root systems, mostly in the top 12 inches of soil. Heavy machinery or material storage near trees can compact soil and harm these crucial roots.

Soil Compaction: Soil needs to be loose for roots to access air and water. Construction traffic can compact soil, hindering root growth and health.

Grade Changes: Adding or removing soil in the root zone can compress or destroy roots, potentially killing the tree.

Construction Debris: Concrete, paint, and other materials can alter soil chemistry and harm trees.

Steps to Protect Your Trees

  1. Consult with an Arborist

A professional arborist from Wilder Tree Company can help identify trees at risk during construction. We’re well-versed in local ordinances, like Austin’s tree protection requirements, to ensure compliance and tree safety.


  1. Measure the Tree’s Diameter

Determine the tree’s Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) by measuring the trunk’s circumference at chest height and dividing by 3.14.


  1. Calculate the Tree’s Critical Root Zone (CRZ)

The CRZ is crucial for tree health. It’s a circle with the tree at the center, with the radius being 12 times the DBH.


  1. Erect a Perimeter Fence

Build a fence around the CRZ, using 1 foot of fence radius for every inch of DBH, to protect the tree during construction.


  1. Implement Additional Protections

Prune to remove dead or low-hanging branches.

Fertilize for extra nutrients and strength.

Work compost into the soil around the tree.

Plan for adequate watering, especially in drought conditions.

Apply mulch (3-8 inches deep) over the CRZ. For heavy machinery areas, add plywood to distribute weight evenly.

If the project exceeds 1.5 years, consider using a growth inhibitor to manage the tree’s growth.

Wilder Tree Company: Partnering for Your Trees’ Health

Construction doesn’t have to mean the end of healthy trees. With Wilder Tree Company’s expert guidance, you can successfully navigate construction projects while preserving the natural beauty and health of your trees.


Need help protecting your trees during construction? Contact Wilder Tree Company for professional advice and services. Let us be your partner in maintaining a green and thriving landscape amidst your construction projects.

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