Ah! Such a noble effort shown in this picture to save a tree during construction. This developer went to the “enormous” expense to wrap a measly ten feet of plastic protection fencing around the trunk of this tree to show just how much he cares about saving it. But even this wimpy effort is totally useless. This tree is a Dead Tree Standing.
How can I say that this tree is not being saved and sitting on Death Row? Easy. All of the feeder roots surrounding the tree have either been dug up or have been totally damaged and crushed by the earthwork around it. They may as well have been chopped up and carted away. They can no longer feed the tree.
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Trees get their water from feeder roots that lie in the first few inches of the ground surface and extend at least as far as the drip line, (the extent of the branches above where the rain hitting the leaves would drip off) and often beyond the drip line. The deep roots do not feed the tree. those roots only help hold the tree upright.
You can see in this photo that all of those surface roots are history. This tree will die in a year or two, long after the developer has sold the house to an unsuspecting home buyer, and then the new home owners, who may very well have bought the house because they liked the big oak tree, will have to deal with the heartbreak of losing it and also removing it at a higher expense than if the tree were taken down before the house was started.
The tree fence should have been placed outside the extent of the limbs, beyond the drip line. No trucks should have been permitted to drive or park in the protected area. Nothing should be stored in the protected area. Otherwise the feeder roots would be crushed and the soils would become compacted and not absorb water. Care also needs to be taken to not bury the feeder roots under piles of soil. Even as little as one inch of added soil will smother the feeder roots. They need to be able to breathe.
It takes a long time to grow a tree of this size. Unfortunately, it only takes a few quick and careless mistakes to kill it.
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