How to preserve trees when building a new house
Vigorous developments are taking place all around us these days. We see new building constructions everywhere. Are you aware that in every house construction at least one full grown tree is cut down? When building a new house, make sure to give some thoughts to the preservation of trees.
Why should we preserve trees?
Besides trees providing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, they are good for the environment in uncountable ways. It could work as a cooling agent in our house which will help us save lots of money. Trees help in reducing ozone depletion as it absorbs pollutants from air and land. Its root keeps the soil in place which reduces landslides, prevents soil erosion and runoff. Assuming that these are enough reasons to convince you to save and preserve trees, I will move on to the ways to save them when building a new house.
There are many ways for development and saving trees to go hand in hand. You may have to give some effort, time and money but it won’t matter so much if you truly care for the environment, climate change and the future generation. We need to build a habit that is more mindful of nature.
Building a house around full grown trees instead of cutting them off
Have you ever seen trees growing out in the middle of the house or a perforate made for trees in the balcony or roof?
I used to live in a PG where a coconut tree grows in the middle of a balcony. The best thing about those kinds of houses is the shade it gets and the temperature during hot summer. The ancestors in that place also called the coconut tree as Kalpavriksha, which means it is considered holy as everything in the tree is utilized. So, that was another reason for them to preserve the tree.
According to the advice given by Design Everest, trees are great for saving money in the long run. In the summer, trees located in the east and west can provide shade for your home, which lowers cooling costs. In the winter, trees become windbreaks which can help you save on your heating bill. Trees in a neighbourhood consistently increase the sale prices of houses as well.
Here are some general guidelines for which trees to save:
• Healthy trees should be your top priority for preservation.
• Younger trees are much more resilient than older ones. They may also be transplanted without ill effects.
• If a large tree is located within five feet of a new structure, it will likely not survive.
• Save a variety of trees in a group, which will help ensure their survival and decrease the chances of disease and stress.
Determine what your local planning department’s regulations are concerning trees and tree protection. This includes their list of protected trees, to what extent the tree must be protected, and guidelines to follow in your endeavour to protect the tree. In general, the less damage to the tree, the better. You must also consider trees in neighbouring lots when designing your project.
Plan the construction around trees very carefully. You must protect the roots around the trees you want to preserve, so no construction or storage of materials should happen in those areas. Putting fences with clear signs around these trees is the easiest way to ensure no harm will come to them. It will also help to make sure the workers understand that the trees are to be preserved, to lower the chance that they will accidentally damage the tree.
Transplanting trees or replacement
This process might cost you more and you will need an expert’s advice to do this. But the effort given will be worth it as it will help the environment and also the future generation. Plus, you may spend some extra bucks now but in the long run, it will be saving you more than you know.
In Bangalore City, trees on MG road were grafted carefully and transported to another place. Trees were carefully planted and grown. We could do this in our home as well.
Some steps to consider when relocating or replacing a tree.
1. The location for relocating trees should ideally be selected, keeping in mind the amount of space and sunlight meeting the tree’s requirements. Also, your knowledge about the species plays a significant role for the tree to adapt in the new site.
2. You can begin by moistening the soil around the tree thoroughly about three to four days before the move with the help of a hose or watering. Following which, the tree’s roots have to be identified. It is important to keep in mind that you retain as much of the root system in place as possible.
3. The digging has to be carried out carefully. The trench has to be approximately 1.5 to 2 feet deep. While digging the tree out, you need to leave the roots and the surrounding clump of soil intact, which together is known as ‘root ball’.
4. Ideally, the width of the trench should be double the width of the root ball. Next, pull the tree out of the hole and shape the bottom of the root ball using the spade like a ball. If the need arises, you can cut some of the roots beneath.
5. By tipping the tree and root ball to one side, tightly wrap the root ball with a piece of burlap that can cover the clump entirely. The burlap piece has to be secured to the tree trunk with a thick cord.
6. The tree is now ready to be carried to the transplant spot and must be particularly lifted and carried by the root ball. Pay heed that the new trench is at least two to three times the size of the root ball, while the depth remains approximately an inch lesser than the root ball’s length such that the burlap is visible even after placement of the tree in the trench.
7. Next couple of weeks are crucial, and you will have to keep monitoring the tree closely at least for a month or so. Don’t forget to water the tree every 10 to 14 days, in case it has not rained in the meantime.
Building house without disturbing the environment
I have seen videos of architects where they plan in such a way that not a single plant, rocks or surrounding is disturbed. If they have to, they move the plant carefully to the place where it can grow.
The houses were built in such a way that when it is done building, the place remains the same as it were before and only the building was added.
Look around you; if you are surrounded by trees you are lucky. And these steps are exactly what you should take so that the trees around you don’t simply disappear in the next few years.