At last year’s CanWest Hort Expo I attended a lecture by local tree expert Dr. Julian Dunster. During the lecture he made a key comment about trees in construction zones. There is so much disturbance on some construction sites that it’s better to remove all trees and start over.
But in practice people fight to preserve all trees on construction sites. I was in that camp myself until Dr. Dunster showed that most trees on severely disturbed sites will not survive for long. It may be best to start over by removing the existing trees and planting new ones.
One recent example
I recalled all of this when I saw a picture someone had posted in a Facebook group. Take a look. What do you see?
It’s not a pretty picture and it fits Dr. Dunster’s lecture comments. It’s possible that the people in charge of this project couldn’t get a tree removal permit or that it cost too much.
I’m not a construction expert but I do know that there must be a foundation in place for the structure on the left to go up. Now, considering the size of the tree, I’m almost certain that big, structural roots had to be cut before the foundation could go in. And when this happens, the stability of the tree is compromised.
I don’t see any orange exclusion fencing around this tree which means there was a lot of construction activity around its root zone. This activity leads to soil compaction which is a silent tree killer.
Why? Because compacted soils prevent surface water from percolating down to the roots where it’s needed. The water just runs off compacted soils.
Also, the fine roots just under the surface which collect water and nutrients for the trees can’t do their job in compacted soils.
I believe this site should learn from Dr. Dunster’s experience and remove the tree so a smaller specimen can be planted instead. I can’t see this tree surviving for long. Start over.