Street tree decline and construction damage: Long term impacts of infrastructure repair on the survivability and condition of trees

2006 | Dr. Richard Hauer, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

The study design allowed us to relook at the short-term side of construction and ask if the Milwaukee tree preservation program was paying out bets on both sides of the grey and green infrastructure battle. We took the original control trees, some of which were not subjected to construction to date (n=287) and others subjected to construction activities (n=143). We found no difference in survivability (survival %: 81.0 construction versus 80.5 control trees) and or tree health (condition %: 75.2 construction versus 75.0 control trees). This finding suggests two things. First, construction can occur around trees and the battle ends in both the grey and green sides winning, much to the disadvantage of the odds makers, if tree biological needs are considered. Second, a sound tree preservation program can be implemented with the end result of healthy and longer lived urban trees.

Year: 2006

Funding Duration: 1-3 years

Grant Program: John Z Duling

Grant Title: Street Tree Decline and Construction Damage: Long Term Impacts of Infrastructure Repair on the Survivability and Condition of Trees

Researcher: Richard Hauer

Key words: construction damage


Peer Reviewed Publications from Grant: none

General Audience/Trade Publications:

  • Hauer, R.J. 2009. Trees and Construction – A Quarter Century Grey and Green Infrastructure Battle. Minnesota Shade Tree Advocate. 11(1): 5-7. View the Publication >

Presentations: none

For more information on this project, contact the researcher via TREE Fund at