Tree Protection Plan, popularly known as TPP or Tree Preservation Plan is designed for the protection of trees through the adoption of several measures. Protecting trees from what exactly?
Construction involves a lot of heavy activity including the movement of construction equipment, vehicles, and materials.
Such situations are known as site disturbance 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 aimed at preserving trees as well as 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 that may arise regarding a tree protection plan will hover around whether you need one or not. In recent years, trees have come under a lot of 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 protect all public trees (to be explained shortly) from indiscriminate destruction and damage.
So, yes! You need a tree protection plan.
This is even more necessary if you’re an environmentalist who wants to help protect and make the world a better place.
What exactly are public trees?
This term may seem confusing for some readers hence the need to clearly explain what it means. 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 Really Hurt Trees?
Construction work and the movement of heavy machinery does 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 long 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 important sections.
Before you commence, you’ll need to write the public tree disclosure statement. This is followed by a pre-construction meeting. 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 full 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.
Now, 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 who aren’t familiar with what a tree protection plan entails.
Here, you’re expected to meet with an urban forestry technician. This meeting fully unveils the full extent of the tree protection plan after evaluating your site.
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 plan? There are basic 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 easy interpretation.
Details such as the property line, proposed electrical line, the limit of land disturbance, proposed gas lines, proposed water lines, and proposed sewer lines, need to be clearly 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
All public trees, as well as shrubs within or around the construction area, must be clearly identified.
This identification should also include their species, canopy, and height. This normally 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 the movement (in and out) of construction materials may affect trees directly or indirectly.
Limits of Disturbance
Construction areas normally witness a lot of excavation, trenching, routing of utilities and irrigation systems, grade changes & trenching, construction of 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 any areas where protective barriers will be installed. Dimensions should be measured 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. These care measures such as soil aeration, watering, and mulching must be supplied in our tree protection plan.
Access Routes to Site
It’s important to clearly 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 anti-compaction measures or devices will be used.
All construction methods, as well as equipment, must be clearly identified. This helps determine if they’ll pose 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 completely removed or pruned. Details of these should be supplied 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 that will be contacted in matters relating to 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, your tree protection plan needs to be maintained throughout the period of the project.
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