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The consultant's role during construction

A consultant (arborist or urban forester) can provide continuity during the construction process. During pre-construction phases the consultant works with designers, planners, and engineers. Once construction begins, the consultant works with project superintendents, various contractors, and city inspectors to insure that trees are properly preserved on the land development site.

Six major responsibilities of a consultant during the construction phase

  • Maintain the tree protection zone
    This is the single most important factor in protecting trees from damage.
  • Assist with changes in the field
    Changes often occur during construction projects. The consultant must participate in the decisions that could affect preserved trees.
  • Monitor tree health and conditions and specify appropriate treatments
    If trees are accidentally damaged, the consultant must be available to recommend mitigations or appropriate actions. Also, changes in water status, pest populations, and other health issues must be identified early so treatments can be applied.
  • Communicate with the project superintendent and contractors
    One of the most important factors in the success of a tree preservation project is the commitment of the project superintendent who manages all construction activity on site. The consultant must establish effective communication and cooperation with the superintendent to ensure this commitment.
  • Help identify appropriate work procedures around trees

    The consultant can help identify locations for haul roads that avoid protected trees while providing adequate turn and reverse zones for equipment.

  • Facilitate completion of the project

    The consultant should assist in completing the project in a timely manner while ensuring adequate tree protection.

Source: "Trees and Development: A Technical Guide to Preservation of Trees During Land Development" by Nelda Matheny and James R. Clark