There is no reason to accept damaging the environment or going over budget just because you want to build a landscape project. Here are four important things you can do to minimize potential damage and extra costs.
Wise homeowners will be creative when deciding on a project. Even before you contact a professional and especially if you aren’t, careful site selection is important . You will want to see your property from a bird’s eye view. You can often avoid trees if you look at a plan view of your property with existing trees and tree lines clearly marked. Looking down on your property from above will give you another perspective on placement. Often it is possible to then see a way to lessen the impact your project will have on existing trees.
Finding a landscape architect, landscape designer and/or landscape contractor who has the same green goals that you do is very important in building sustainably. A good professional will help you keep your land and trees safe. Don’t settle for less. Check references from former clients and ask if the landscape professional really does use green construction methods. You don’t want to be fighting for your green principles all the way down the line. Nor do you want to come home one day to find that, oops, some worker didn’t know that you wanted to keep the tree.
Sometimes it is possible to site the project in an area that avoids the tree, but suppose it isn’t? You can build near, but not under trees. It is possible to preserve a tree in place if you can protect the roots and make sure the soil around it is not compacted. The most important tree roots are within the drip line of the tree. Make sure the area is marked clearly with bright construction fencing.
Inspect the work site frequently keeping an eye out for encroachment of men or materials near your trees. Showing appropriate, friendly concern will remind the workers to respect the tree’s protected space without you having to say a word. Going green in landscape construction requires new values and ways of looking at “savings.” Using sustainable construction practices can mean forgoing “business as usual,” but it is very achievable and worth the effort.
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