Heavy Equipment and Trees

Austin homeowners often make use of the warmer summer months to complete home improvement projects. These projects may include the addition of new rooms, expansions of existing rooms, installing a pool, or building new storage units, such as a detached garage. New additions or improvements typically add value to a home. However, a well cared for lawn, including landscaping trees, also adds value to a home.

Whatever the home improvement project, two things are certain. First, there will likely be a need for the use of some heavy equipment to complete the project(s). And second, there must be a balance between the care of the indoor and outdoor components in order to maintain the overall intrinsic value of the property.

If a home addition or improvement project is in your future this summer, here are some things to consider.

Bear in mind that projects or improvements to the home itself may require the use of certain heavy machinery, and this may still indirectly affect surrounding landscaping trees. Depending upon the proximity of the location of the project to the landscaping trees, inadvertent scrapes to the trunk may occur. In places like Austin, Texas, oak wilt disease is not only prevalent, but is also easily transmitted by such incidents. Always exercise caution.

If at all possible, plan to surround the trees with a temporary barrier, such as a mesh or small wooden fence. This is an excellent visual cue to assist in the provision of some distance between your valuable trees and the hired workers, who will be focused on completing the task at hand and will be less familiar with your landscape.

Consider, too, that even if the site of the home addition or improvement project isn’t so proximal to any landscaping trees that it appears any damage could be done, it still may be possible. Depending upon the species of the landscaping trees, it must be remembered that the roots of a tree grow horizontally, often two to three times the circumference of the canopy. This means that the roots of a tree with a 20 foot canopy may extend anywhere from 40 to 60 feet beyond the tree. By all appearances, it may seem that a tree is safe from any possibility of damages when, in fact, it may still be vulnerable.

With this in mind, if the size of your lawn and the spacing between landscaping trees allow, try to establish a walkway/workway that minimizes both foot traffic and the weight of the necessary equipment on areas where roots may be located.

If limbs are in the way of an impending project, contact an Austin tree trimming service to assist with their appropriate removal. Hiring a licensed and reputable professional ensures the continued viability and integrity of the tree.

Additionally, if limbs are in the way of an impending project, but won’t necessarily be problematic once the project is complete, consult an Austin arborist regarding how best to temporarily and safely suspend the limbs until the project is complete.

Home improvement projects may also include changes to the landscape, such as the addition of new trees or aerating the lawn. Before planting or aerating, be mindful of the possibility of roots from nearby trees that may extend toward or into the project area. Also, when aerating, use extra caution when working near the trunks of trees to avoid damaging them.

If there are ever any doubts or concerns as you plan, or even after you’ve begun, home improvement projects, contact an Austin tree care service for assistance and guidance.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

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