Ecology + Design

Evaluating Landscapes and the Condition of Adjacent Trees – Fairfield County


In our Fairfield County environment, trees are also essential for life. They are important for water quality, soil stabilization, cleaning our air and producing oxygen as well as cooling, providing shade and necessary habitat for wildlife and beneficial insects. By nature, the east coast ecosystems are predominantly forest systems and as such, are fungal based. Trees are valuable and important in every stage of their life cycles. Young trees provide food and shelter while mature trees provide wood products etc.. Even dead and dying trees contribute to the ecology of our environment.

In our Fairfield County residential home landscapes we have many factors to consider. A simple driveway project can become an example. A very large mature maple tree, 80’ tall with an extensive root system extending across the driveway, was in dubious condition. The homeowner had several tree companies offered a variety of opinions on whether the tree should be removed, cabled or pruned. We suggested calling in a consulting arborist for a more objective view. Since current standards observed in Fairfield County for evaluating trees prohibit labeling/determining a tree hazardous, we can only go by recommendations referring to imminent failure (see International Society of Arboriculture or Tree Care Industry Association for Arboricultural standards).

In this case we observed a squirrel coming and going from a cavity in the tree at 15’ in height. This led us to assume a likelihood that the tree could be hollow. Because of the disposition and proximity of the tree ( right next to the driveway, within 50’ of and leaning towards the house) we recommended removal. Upon inspection of the down tree it was obvious it was completely hollow for a significant length of the trunk diameter. This is a shinning example of how a proper and complete site analysis and evaluation conducted by a professional team can enable the landscape design/build contractor to produce the best, most efficient results. This is a model of sustainable property management in Fairfield County, CT.

Jay Archer, President


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