Protected Tree Species: Limiting Development Impacts from Permit Application through Long-Term Monitoring

Limiting impacts to protected tree species takes place at four distinct points in time throughout project development. A thorough tree inventory informs and ensures a comprehensive Protected Tree Report. During construction, monitoring is essential to avoid impacts to protected species. Finally, long-term monitoring and management facilitate long-term health of protected tree species. Following, Dudek Urban Forester Ryan Allen further details the keys to avoiding impacts to protected tree species.

Deep Roots: Conducting a Thorough Tree Inventory

The first step to conducting a successful tree inventory is understanding what tree attribute information needs to be collected to meet the goals of the project. Often, this includes knowing the regulations of the municipal tree ordinance that governs the property, how the ordinance defines a protected tree, and parameters for protected tree report submissions. A clear scope of work will ensure a cost-efficient inventory that guides the project arborist to gather the right tree attribute information like species, trunk diameter at standard height, health and structure condition, and height and width. Decisions on whether a tree can be removed or preserved are often dependent on accurate mapping. Using a GPS enabled handheld device will assist in completing the inventory project with accurate tree location mapping.

A Solid Trunk: Establishing a Plan with a Comprehensive Protected Tree Report

Effective reports clearly present the project details, site, and tree conditions, and are built on a deep understanding of protected tree species and how they will react to site development. Reports should thoroughly address the impacts to tree health in the short and long term. If impacts require tree removal, the report should discuss required mitigation measures. When trees will be impacted by site development, but not require removal, the report should include a tree protection plan and tree preservation guidelines. Complete and detailed reports limit the amount of time spent addressing comments from stakeholders. It will also limit comments from the governing agency and streamline the permit approval process.

A Multitude of Branches: Monitoring Protected Trees During Construction

It is essential to monitor trees during construction to ensure they are preserved throughout the process. A pre-construction meeting should take place to verify tree protection measures are implemented and understood between the project arborist and development team. Tree protections measures promote healthy soil and growing conditions, as well as prevent damage to a tree from construction-related activities. These efforts will result in the preservation of tree health during construction and prepare the tree to continue to flourish when the project is complete.

A Flourishing Canopy: Long-Term Monitoring for Future Tree Health

Continuity and consistency are keys to long-term tree health management plans. Arborists should be aware of the site history, growing conditions, and previous construction activity that will impact tree health. Plans should address the long-term health management of the trees, as well as monitor tree health and provide recommendations when needed to improve tree health. Successful monitoring will leave the protected trees on site in a healthy condition that will continue into the future.

List of 4 steps to limited impacts to protected trees. 1. Tree Inventory. 2. Protected Tree Report. 3. Construction Monitoring. 4. Long-Term Monitoring.

Whether an existing or future project, Dudek arborists have the expertise and qualifications to assist with protected tree species on your development project site. For more information, contact Urban Forester Ryan Allen.