Dangers of doing outdoor construction near trees

To make way for outdoor renovations, such as expanding a roadway or building a structure, a large area is usually cleared for the work site. This can affect foliage growing there as roots are often torn up and removed, and it is especially harmful to trees, whose roots spread far and wide. There are many ways tree construction damage can happen, the following being just a few:

Clearing the work site’s surroundings, a necessary step before the project can begin, may cause tree wounds. In cases of less severe damage, the injuries don’t always kill the tree immediately – it may just weaken the tree in a delayed onset of symptoms caused from the root removal, allowing it to gradually decline over years.

Heavy-duty construction equipment can also cause damage by tearing the bark, which leaves the tree more vulnerable, injuring the trunk, which weakens stability, or breaking branches.

Digging or using a jackhammer to clear a spot for laying foundation, regardless of whether it’s for a building or the expansion of a street, can destroy large percentages of the tree’s root system – by severing a single major root, anywhere from 5 to 20 percent can be lost. The potential dangers of removing these roots include the tree suddenly falling over, which can cause debilitating injuries or even death if it lands on someone.

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