Protecting Trees During Construction

Often the damages from construction are not apparent for several years. Therefore it is important to be vigilant in protecting trees when construction is taking place. Construction equipment can:

  • Cause injuries to the trunk and bark of trees
  • Cut roots of trees during digging and trenching
  • Cause soil compaction from heavy equipment
  • Smother roots by adding too much soil, or by changing the grade of the land

How to Protect Trees During Construction

  • Set up construction fences around trees that are large enough to protect the roots as well as the trunk of the tree.
  • Allow no digging, trenching or construction materials to be stored on the tree roots.
  • Plan only one access route on and off the property.
  • Clearly define for all contractors where they can park and drive.
  • Set up storage sites for construction equipment, material and excess soil.

Communicate clearly these objectives with all involved in the building process, including the landscapers. The landscapers are important because changing the grade of the land, installing irrigation systems, or rototilling for new plantings can all lead to damage to the tree roots if not done properly. 

Please refer to Municipal Code 7-6-4-3 for more details.

By following these guidelines you will protect your mature trees during construction and enhance your property value. 

Quality Description used in the Tree Replacement Worksheet

  • DBH - diameter at breast height
  • Heritage - High quality, slow growing desirable trees
  • Landmark -  High quality, large mature DBH desirable trees