When to transplant a tree during construction

When to transplant a tree during construction

When to transplant a tree during construction

July 15, 2021

One of our main goals at Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow is to educate home builders and buyers on the importance of preserving natural landscaping throughout the community. However, we also acknowledge that it is not always possible to save every tree on a chosen homesite.

How does a builder decide when to transplant a tree during construction? We will explore a few common considerations below and explain how we plan to make up for the trees lost to homebuilding developments.

The benefits of conservation

Well-established trees can offer great benefits to a new home community by improving the quality of the water, soil, and air by removing pollutants. Trees also provide shade and help to lower temperatures during hot weather. As a builder, trees are beneficial by saving future costs on landscaping while increasing the attractiveness and desirability of a property as well.

If you plan to preserve trees, the International Society of Arboriculture outlined a few simple steps that will keep them safe during construction. First, make sure to get advice from arborists or other professionals that can accurately judge the health and structural integrity of the trees in question. Then, take time to plan around them and their roots as you design each homesite. Driveways are a common concern in this phase. Once you have begun construction in the community, consider putting up protective fences around larger trees and advise construction personnel to avoid digging, trenching or dumping building materials in the area. This will prevent tree injuries which are hard to rectify after the fact. Continue to monitor each tree closely after construction is complete to ensure they are adjusting to the environmental changes.

The benefits of transplanting

Ultimately, not every tree can or should be preserved during construction. Builders and their partners will often judge trees on the species and how sensitive it might be to compaction from heavy construction driving over its roots or grade changes after foundations are poured. Colorado State University found that trees like American Elms, Cottonwoods, Ginkgos, and Silver Maples are generally adaptable. If a tree is determined not healthy enough to survive the change, it can be removed.

How we make up for transplanted trees

Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow challenges home builders to join our mission of replanting trees displaced during construction by adding new, healthy trees in their place or pledging to support nearby community parks. This will hopefully make up for future loss and encourage our builder partners to think more critically when designing and building a new community.

For more information on Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow and to browse its list of builder partners in the San Antonio area, call 210-670-5297 or email info@benannietrees.org.