Tree Preservation & Reporting


Suitability for Preservation

Before evaluating the impacts that will occur during redevelopment, it is critical to consider the quality of the tree resource itself and the likelihood for individual trees to function well over an extended period of time. Trees that are preserved or in question of relocation on a development site must be carefully selected to make sure they can survive construction impacts, adapt to a new environment and perform well in the landscape. The ultimate goals are long-term health, structural integrity, and plant longevity.

Evaluation and Reporting

Healthy, vigorous trees are better able to tolerate impacts such as root injury, demolition of existing structures, changes in soil grade, moisture, content, and soil compaction than are non-vigorous trees.

Trees with poor branch attachments and other structural defects that cannot be corrected are likely to fail. Such trees should not be preserved in areas where damage, injury or death is possible to property or people.

Depending on the species of tree, response varies during construction and post construction impacts. Changes in environments, microclimates, and wind patterns will also create new challenges for trees.

Site Data Collection Mapping

Tree Survey Data typically consists of the follow areas but keep in mind data can be modified to suit each client’s requirements:

Tree locations will be determined on the electronic site plans for each tree and position of each will be marked electronically with a point on the plan. All trees will contain X, Y, and Z coordinates, and located via GIS (GPS) mapping. Elevations from sea level are provided as in Northing and Easting coordinates. All trees to be tagged with numerically coded aluminum tags.

Trees are identified by genus and species and variety if possible. Common names are included.

Diameter (D.B.H.) approximately 54” above grade, will be measured a to the nearest inch and recorded. Measurements 12” above grade will be taken to determine the correct encapsulation size.

These trees require routine horticulture pruning to correct structural problems or growth patterns, to improve the aesthetic appeal of the trees. These trees are small and growing in a position that can be evaluated and pruned from the ground.

Young large-growing trees that are still small must be pruned to correct or eliminate weak, interfering or objectionable branches in order to minimize future maintenance requirements. These trees, up to twenty (20) feet in height, can be worked with a pole pruner by an individual on the ground.

Priority three trees are recommended for trimming to remove hazardous deadwood, hangers, or broken branches. These trees have dead, dying, or diseased limbs or leaders.

Individual Tree Profile Calculations

This field is used to indicate viability and worthiness of transplanting or should not be considered for transplanting. The assessments will be based on whether the tree is of desirable species, life expectancy, is in good health, condition, and has good structural and aesthetic qualities that would warrant transplanting.

These fields will be used to indicate the presence of an insect pest or damage signs on the tree from insects feeding. This field will also indicate mechanical wounding, soil compaction, or the need for caballing, bracing, or mulching.

This field will indicate the individual trees height, width, Diameter at Breast Height (DBH), Diameter and Transplant Diameter (12” above soil Grade).

Abbreviation for trunk Structure Standard (STD) Multiple (MLT) Low Branch (LB).



Trees on or near construction sites can be preserved with appropriate planning and reasonable measures. Too often lack of such planning for tree-retention results in loss of valuable trees due to direct damage to roots, compaction of soils and injury to trunks and branches. In our experience, simple & inexpensive techniques can be effectively used to protect existing trees from construction impacts. 

– Erik Hess