Crowning Achievements: Helping Trees and Soil Cope with Construction

Nobody wants their trees and soil to suffer during a construction project, but not all take special measures to protect them from the damage done by trenching, vehicles, equipment and building materials. Most tree roots reside in the top three feet of soil and are easily damaged; and soil, once compacted, becomes impenetrable to water, oxygen and plant roots. In Dr. Nina Bassuk’s most recent TREE Fund webinars, “Reducing Tree (and Soil!) Damage During Construction” (Dec. 2018) and “Remediating Compacted Soils Compromised by Urban Construction” (June 2019), Dr. Bassuk demonstrates proven tree and soil preservation tactics to deploy whether you are planning a new construction project or trying to mitigate the harm done when such planning has been overlooked. These include such items as her Tree Protection Plan – an essential tool to ensure good communication throughout construction project development and execution – as well as an in depth look into radial trenching and her “Scoop and Dump” methods of soil remediation.

Damaged or dead trees can always be replaced, and compacted soils can be recovered, but both come at a great price to ecosystem services. Proper precautions should always be taken to safeguard existing trees and soil quality when construction occurs. Please visit TREE Fund’s Webinar Archive at to dig deeper into Dr. Bassuk’s research as she continues to build upon her 2007 Hyland R. Johns research grant, “Strategies and Techniques to Remediate Compacted, Poorly Draining Soils.”

Click here for the complete, October 2019 issue of TREE Press.