Plan Outlines Tree Care During Construction

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Anne Boykin-Smith
Capital Planning and Space Management

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When it’s time to break ground for a new construction project, a lot of consideration is given to the trees that cover campus.

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When it’s time to break ground for a new construction project, a lot of consideration is given to the trees that cover campus.

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When it’s time to break ground for a new construction project, a lot of consideration is given to the trees that cover campus.     

“Our first priority is to protect existing trees on our construction sites,” said Anne Boykin-Smith, master planner in Capital Planning and Space Management. “But if a tree is unhealthy and should be removed, we want to take care of this during the construction process and plant replacement trees.”  

Tree protection and planting is just one of the many topics covered in the Georgia Tech Landscape Master Plan (in Section 6), which provides guidance on a variety of landscaping issues ranging from stonework to recommended plant lists.

If a tree is healthy, a plan is created to ensure that it isn’t harmed during construction. The plan usually includes information such as where the root protection zone is, an area that is defined as a diameter equal to two times the height of the tree. Within this zone, no trenching, parking, construction, storage of materials or soil stockpiling is allowed.

Sometimes due to construction or poor health, trees must be removed.

“For example, several trees needed to be removed as part of the Peters Parking Deck retaining wall replacement project because the trees were not thriving — due to years of drought conditions — and might have fallen once the old wall was removed,” Boykin-Smith said.

Prior to removing any trees, an assessment by a certified arborist is required. According to the master plan, a minimum of three replacement trees is required for trees that must be removed because of disease or danger. Replacement trees may be planted anywhere on campus (with Georgia Tech approval).

Other recent construction projects that required tree removal and replacement include North Avenue streetscape, where 39 trees will be replanted, and the Clough Commons, Transit Hub and Tech Green projects, where 324 were replanted.

As for the new trees that have yet to be replanted, this will occur in the weeks to come, since late fall is the ideal planting season, according to Hyacinth Ide, campus landscape manager.

“Trees don’t actively grow because of the cool weather, so the demand for watering is less, and the chance of the tree survival is better,” Ide said.

For more information, contact Boykin-Smith.
                  

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Keywords
Anne Boykin-Smith, Green Buzz, Landscape Master Plan, planting, replanting, trees
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  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 31, 2011 - 11:11am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:10pm