Proper Placement of Trees & How to Protect Existing Ones in Structural Sites

If we should balance out modern improvement and a healthy ecosystem, trees and buildings should be two inseparable things. There are times, however, that trees are planted in an ‘inappropriate’ spot of a residential or commercial area. What was once a nice source of shade can become a threat to building structures. In some cases, large trees can disrupt buildings ventilation such as in wind funnels. Trees whose trunks and branches can dry up and die easily can endanger the surrounding structure and even put people’s lives at risk.

On the other hand, trees are one of the most important elements in a structural site. Some soil types like clay has too much moisture content that can cause structural shrinkage. The only way to prevent this is to maintain trees with good structure and healthy root system. In this case, expert advice is needed whenever trees in construction sites has to be removed or has to be planted for landscaping reasons. If building work is on-going, think of these considerations before construction.

Do’s and Don’ts in Building Sites near Trees


  • Strengthen the soil’s holding capacity by adding in sand and topsoil mixture directly to the roots. This will protect the roots from too much damage that could leave the tree lifeless after the construction.
  • During soil compression, keep the activity at a minimum whenever near to tree roots. Soil compaction causes stress to the plant roots that can have adverse effects to the whole plant system. 
  • Prepare wet sackings in case you’ll need to expose tree roots in high temperatures for a long time. Tree roots can be very sensitive to temperature changes. Wet sackings will keep the usual temperature of the soil and will make the roots survive amidst unnatural external temperature.


  • Cut tree roots without proper expert consultation. As stated, UK’s soil is mainly clay, which has high moisture content. If you need to start the construction, place fences or hedges around the tree trunk to remind that it should be protected from the hazards of the site.
  • Mix cement and other construction materials anywhere nearer than a tree. Chemicals in these mixtures can disrupt the photosynthesis and further tree growth.
  • Excavate anywhere near than 3 meters to a tree. This is to ensure root survivability and to provide a better environment for healthier urban trees. Disruptions in the soil such as vibrations caused by heavy equipments can be more damaging to trees than what most people think. Keeping the environment protected from these external distractions should be done in any construction site.


In clay soils such as in the United Kingdom, trees play a vital role in keeping the structures well-grounded. Never fail to consult a horticulturist or agriculturist about removing or transferring them in other locations. Special precautions need to take place especially to trees near construction sites and structural areas. Knowing how benefi