Tree Preservation

Have The Right Tree In The Right Place

Trees are regularly overlooked during new construction development, and that’s why you should call Wellnitz prior to starting your project.

Often, trees end up being removed, but sometimes a prized tree is spared. Unfortunately many times the tree that was spared begins to decline within the next few years, only to be removed. Just because a tree wasn’t cut down doesn’t mean it was spared.

That’s because construction near a tree causes root damage and soil compaction in the root zone. 

Physical Damage

  • Roots are easily overlooked during construction projects because they are underground. If a mature tree’s roots are severed during construction it can be devastating to the tree. It is important to protect the critical root zone (CRZ) during construction. Roots spread well past the canopy of the tree and are the only way a tree takes up water and critical nutrients. Roots cut closer to the tree have more of an impact on the tree. Symptoms of drought stress will likely appear because the trees uptake has been limited.
  • Trees with large sections of their root zone removed are more prone to failure in storms.
  • Wellnitz Tree Care will determine a CRZ and set up a tree protection zone before construction to ensure root damage does not occur.
  • If root damage occurs before Wellnitz Tree Care is called there are ways we can mitigate the effects, as long as the damage is not too severe.
  • Damage on the trunk often results in wood decay pathogens entering the trunk. This results in cavities to form in the trees. Trees with wounds like this can be prone to failure.
  • Not much that can be done about trunk damage unless the damage is caught immediately.

Soil compaction

  • Even if tree roots are not cut they can still suffer from heavy equipment driving over the root zone. Soil is composed of minerals, organic matter, and pore space. When heavy equipment compacts the soil, pore space is reduced, eliminating air and water from the soil. The tree roots cannot absorb the required water and they cannot respire. The tree will suffocate from the ground up.
  • Wellnitz Tree Care will prevent soil compaction in the CRZ by establishing a tree protection zone which will exclude construction equipment from sensitive areas.
  • If construction already occurred we can alleviate compaction with an air excavation tool.

Hydrologic changes

  • Construction can change the way water moves around trees. Impervious hard surfaces cause water to run off over root zones potentially drowning trees during wet periods.
  • Trees suffer drought like conditions when water is moved away from the root zone by a construction project.
  • Wellnitz Tree care will monitor hydrologic conditions after construction projects to ensure proper water is delivered to the tree.


  • When soil is mounded around the tree it is not only bad for the roots but can also be bad for the trunk. The soil will hold moisture around the trunk which results in fungal problems at the base of the tree.
  • As with soil compaction, grade reduction alters the soil respiration rate. Most tree roots are in the top 12 inches of soil because gas exchange is better closer to the surface. Fill dirt limits gas exchange with the atmosphere and can suffocate roots.
  • If fill is placed around a tree Wellnitz Tree Care has mitigation techniques but fill should be removed as soon as possible.
  • If grade changes are necessary Wellnitz Tree Care can mitigate damages by constructing a tree island. It is important to make sure tree islands are outside the CRZ. The more space you can give a tree, the better the tree will be.

Wellnitz Preserves Historic Trees

If you need help preserving trees during construction projects, we help you protect your shade makers!
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