Building near trees requires a bit of planning and preparation. Planning a new build for your house or adding an extension onto an existing development can be an exciting time. There are many factors to consider during the planning stage and an important one that should not be over looked is the existing or future landscape.
Considerations when Building near Trees
The right tree in the right place can really enhance the overall appeal of the build. Having mature trees on a new development property can help the buildings sit well in their surroundings and add character. In order to maximise the chance of success of any future landscaping or limit the damage to any existing trees it is important to consider the trees from the start. We will discuss ideas for you to think about when planning a new build near trees to ensure the best outcome for you and your garden.
Contact an arborist when building near trees
The first step you should take is to contact a qualified and experienced arboricultural consultant. They will be able to map and assess the condition f your trees. Once this has taken place, the proposed building plan can be compared to see if and how the build will impact the trees. From here a tree management plan can be put together so that the trees and the building can exist in harmony.
Prepare your Property with a Tree management plan
Depending on the outcome of the tree report any remedial action regarding the trees can take place before the build starts. Next adequate and appropriate protection can be put in place for any existing trees or any areas that have been marked for future planning. When doing this it is important to consider both the above and below ground parts of the tree. They must be protected against impact from building equipment such as excavators, run off from contaminated water and fuels, and protected against compaction. This last point often gets over looked.
Compaction of the soil occurs when machinery, or even a large amount of foot traffic, travels over the soil squashing the air out of it. This can denature the soil, creating a toxic environment for the roots, which will have a negative impact on the health of an existing tree or decrease the chances of success for new planting.
If an existing tree is to be retained in close proximity to a building certain measures can be taken to ensure the tree and the building do not harm each other. An arboricultural consultant alongside a structural engineer will be able to offer solutions to enable the two to live happily side by side.
Have an Expert work with you when building near trees
For any building project taking place around trees it is good practise to have a monitoring arborist present during certain stages of the development. This may be detailed in your arboricultural report. The monitoring arborist will work alongside the construction crew to provide advice and solutions to limit the harm to any trees during the building process, helping to ensure the smooth running of the project.
Legal considerations when building near trees
Before building near trees it is also a good idea to check the legal status of your trees. Despite the blanket law being changed, many trees are still individually protected so it is important to check before you carry out work as a resource consent may be required. Follow the link at the end of this article to find out more information about this.
Building near trees does not have to be a hassle. By involving an arboricultural consultant from the start you can ensure that the project will run smoothly and your trees will not be harmed.
For further information about this topic please follow the following links:
- Trees – check before you chop
- NZARB Best Practice Guideline
- Trees and Development – A Guide to Best Practices