Tree Protection Plan, popularly known as TPP or Tree Preservation Plan, is designed to protect trees through the adoption of several measures. Are we protecting trees from what exactly?
Construction involves a lot of heavy activity, including moving construction equipment, vehicles, and materials.
Such situations are site disturbances and may affect trees around or within the construction area.
This is where a tree protection plan comes in handy, as it outlines specific actions to preserve trees and their roots and the soil they stand on.
What more? This plan also ensures that branches aren’t damaged by construction equipment.
In summary, it’s a comprehensive way to keep trees safe from damage or unnecessary encroachment. This will form the basis of our discussion. You only need to read on for more details.
Importance Of A Tree Protection Plan
One of the likely questions regarding a tree protection plan will hover around whether you need one or not. In recent years, trees have come under stress due to construction and other related projects.
To protect these precious plants, legislation has been implemented across different cities and states to ensure the protection of trees. This is meant to cover all public trees (to be explained shortly) from indiscriminate destruction and damage.
So, yes! It would be best if you had a tree protection plan.
This is even more necessary if you’re an environmentalist who wants to help protect and make the world better.
What exactly are public trees?
This term may seem confusing for some readers hence the need to clearly explain it. Public trees are trees mostly found on city lands.
Once the tree trunk is located on city lands, such a tree is classified as a public tree.
Does Construction Hurt Trees?
Construction work and the movement of heavy machinery do a lot more than you can imagine. Even when trees aren’t removed or cleared, this activity (construction) brings about compaction of the soil due to heavy equipment and machinery.
The excavation process also alters the soil grade and directly or indirectly injures trees. It will take about a decade for trees to exhibit signs of such injury or stress. This is why a tree protection plan is needed.
Tree Protection Guide
A good tree protection plan needs to be carefully written to include essential sections.
Before you commence, you’ll need to write the public tree disclosure statement. A pre-construction meeting follows this. The next step involves drafting the actual tree protection plan.
Having successfully written the plan, it will need to be submitted to the appropriate authorities. Obtaining a hoarding permit is next.
Lastly, you’ll need to maintain your tree protection plan. A complete understanding of these procedures is necessary, hence the need for further explanations.
The Public Tree Disclosure Statement
Every construction project requires a tree protection plan.
The public disclosure statement is also required to help the city regulatory agency determine possible public tree damage that might occur as a result of construction work or other development activities.
The preconstruction meeting is for persons unfamiliar with what a tree protection plan entails.
Here, you’re expected to meet with an urban forestry technician. After evaluating your site, this meeting fully unveils the full extent of the tree protection plan.
Drafting your Tree Protection Plan
This is the actual task of writing the tree protection plan. This plan isn’t complicated at all and shouldn’t be made so.
A page or two should be able to capture the full details of your tree protection plan. So, what’s found in the program? There are introductory sections that need to be covered.
The Map Keys/Legend
The construction area needs to be mapped and the map keys or legend made available for straightforward interpretation.
Details such as the property line proposed electrical cable, the limit of land disturbance, proposed gas lines, proposed water lines, and proposed sewer lines need to be denoted.
There’s more! Because it’s all about tree protection, your map keys or legend should also clearly show existing trees to be removed and those that need to stay untouched and protected.
These details help with a quick and easy interpretation of your plan.
Tree Protection Zones
There should be zones on the property where trees are trees are found. These will need to be left undisturbed and protected. Your tree protection plan needs to highlight such areas.
Location and Species of All Public Trees
You must identify all public trees and shrubs within or around the construction area.
This identification should also include their species, canopy, and height. This typically covers areas within 6 meters of the development site.
Construction Materials Storage
Your tree protection plan must include a construction materials storage area. This is crucial in assessing how construction materials’ movement (in and out) may affect trees directly or indirectly.
Limits of Disturbance
Construction areas typically witness a lot of excavation, trenching, routing of utilities and irrigation systems, grade changes & trenching, and construction driveways (including access roads, sidewalks, and more).
All of these need to be highlighted in the plan.
Protective Barrier Installation
A tree protection plan should clearly show areas where you will install protective barriers. You should measure dimensions in square meters.
Pre & Post Construction Care Measures
Trees found within and around the construction area will need to be cared for during and after construction. Our tree protection plan must supply care measures such as soil aeration, watering, and mulching.
Access Routes to Site
It’s essential to locate site access routes at sufficient distances from tree trunks. When construction materials are moved around, soil compaction is likely to occur. This ends up affecting tree roots.
Hence, you’ll need to show what you will use anti-compaction measures or devices.
All construction methods, as well as equipment, must be identified. This helps determine if they’ll pose a danger to trees based on your plan or not.
What Happens To Previously-Existing Trees?
Sometimes, certain trees need to be retained while others are entirely removed or pruned. You should supply details of these in your tree protection plan.
A contact person needs to be on the ground to ensure all details and specifications of the tree protection plan are adhered to. This is the point man who you will contact in tree protection-related matters.
After completing your tree protection plan, it should be submitted to the appropriate authorities and a hoarding plan obtained. More importantly, you must maintain your tree protection plan throughout the project.