On any residential or commercial property, trees are some of the most valuable assets for property owners. Not only can they provide ample shade and privacy, but they also add beauty, tranquility, and curb appeal. Unfortunately, Houston's continued population and business growth have led to an increase in construction and renovation projects, which can be a direct threat to the health of otherwise stable trees. Today's blog post will look at four ways commercial and residential construction projects can cause significant, and even irreparable damage to healthy trees.
Physical Damage To Trunk and Limbs
The most common way trees are damaged during residential and commercial construction projects is from heavy equipment or machinery damaging the tree during transit or while in operation. Unfortunately, during construction trees are rarely protected with safety barricades or fencing to prevent these type of tree injuries. A single heavy blow from a bulldozer, dump truck, or concrete mixer can cause serious tree wounds, and even lead to the tree losing key limbs or becoming unstable.
During the construction process, large vehicles and heavy machinery will often pass right by trees, causing severe soil compaction from the weight of the construction equipment. Soil compaction prevents tree roots from being able to easily absorb water, nutrients, and other essential minerals needed for energy resources and growth. With just minimal soil compaction, trees can suffer diminished growth and leaf dieback, and more severe soil compaction can lead to tree death.
Contamination From Toxins and Chemicals
Construction projects on commercial and residential properties will often require the use of various chemicals and liquid materials. Without proper protection, the soil around trees can become contaminated if these chemicals and harmful materials are spilled or leaked out through water runoff. Soil contamination can be extremely difficult for trees to recover from, and its effects can last years and even lead to tree death.
Damaged Root Systems
Finally, trees can become damaged during construction projects when machinery and heavy equipment cut into tree roots during transit or operation. Roots are the lifelines of trees, so even the smallest severed roots underground can lead to diminished trees health and even tree death. Once cut or damaged, there is no way for the tree to quickly replace or repair that root, so the tree may not ever fully recover or reach peak health again. Additionally, tree roots can begin to wrap around the tree if they are not given ample room to expand out, and this tree problem, known as root girdling, can choke the life out of a tree over time.