Home Introduction AirKnife Construction Sites Pipelines Tree Health Mulching Research Contact arborecology.co.uk

Construction Sites | Helping Trees Survive Development | Tree Friendly Excavation | Tree Roots & Development Case Study

Perhaps the most challenging task in arboriculture today is the protection of trees on construction sites. Government policies encourage developers to make the most of limited space, while still asking them to retain as many trees as possible and protect biodiversity. The reality is all about damage limitation.

The British Standard 5837 ‘Trees in Relation to Construction’ provides some recommendations and a system for establishing minimum distances for Tree Protections Zones (TPZs). The standard offers guidance on erecting sturdy fencing around the TPZ to protect an area of roots and reduce the damage to the tree above ground level as well.

However, if construction work, especially excavation, occurs close to the fence line it is very likely to damage roots inside the TPZ as the mechanical tools rip through the soil indiscriminately tearing out roots. This damage to roots inside the fenced TPZ can be avoided by root pruning. The AirKnife can be used to expose the trees roots, without damage, enabling flexible roots to be bent out of the way and retained within the TPZ, while thicker ones are target pruned.

The AirKnife can also be used as a remedial tool to repair some of the damage done by construction work, where soils are compacted by heavy machinery (see Tree health). Shallow areas of compacted soil can be broken up and removed by using the AirKnife, to be replaced by a remedial mulch, while deeper compaction can be reduced by blowing out vertical mulch pits (see Mulching).

Read more about how the AirKnife works an idea of where it can be used: what is the AirKnife, pipeline trenching, tree health investigations, remedial mulching and our tree root research.

Rhizosphere - Tree Root Ecology

"...What on earth matters? How much? Why? What sorts of trade-offs may we make? Ought we to make?"
- Vandeveer, D. & Pierce, C. (1986) -

Visit arborecology.co.uk
Website by Digital Detail Site requirements: Adobe Acrobat, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox