It's the arborist's fault if tree issues aren't considered during construction and other development projects.
That's the mantra I follow when working on tree preservation projects. After all, if the arborist doesn't speak for the trees, who will? Someone else concerned for saving trees might speak up, but without the backing of the so-called expert, trees in the way of construction stand little chance. In working to preserve trees during construction, the arborist generally has one of the following roles:
1. Tree Advocate
As mentioned above the arborist is expected to stand up for trees on a development project. It is often assumed that if the arborist does not stand up for trees, then they must not be worth standing up for. Sometimes (often) being a tree advocate means determining which trees to remove. While being a tree advocate, the arborist must also be realistic and not attempt to preserve trees that unrealistically h old up development or that will not survive construction.
2. Specialist, but also a generalist
Wwhile teh arborist is responsible for tree-specific issues, they also must understand other disciplines and how they affect trees. Urban planning, building construction, municipal government, soils, hydrology - alll of these must be considered in determining how (or if) to preserve trees.
The arorist has to be able to communicate and work with others on the project team. The general contractor, landscape architect, property owner, governing body and others will all be involved. These actors expect the arborist to be able t o work with them, communicating issues in a clear way.
Many people see trees as something nice to look at, but also something that can be easily disposed of if they become a minor annoyance or stand in the way of development. It is the arborist's job to educate on why trees must be preserved. Tree preservation is not just about saving pretty trees, t is about maintaining the many other benefits that trees bring to our urban environment. Increased property value is often the one that resonates the most with people, but slowed runoff, wildlife habitat, reduced urban heat islands, carbon sequestration, improved human health and pollutant removal are good ones too!
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