The Role of the Arborist: Understanding the Full Picture

Arborist evaluation finds signs of root disturbance and damage to the left side of red oak. The cause? A driveway that doesn’t exist. Using site clues most others wouldn’t have noticed, our arborist pieced together the history of this tree and was able to give the homeowner some answers. 

What an Arborist Can Do for You

Site clue links to decline of tree

The role of an arborist cannot be understated. Their trained eyes, past experience, and use of clues from the site allow them to make sound recommendations to the trees on the property. 

In this case, an Arlington resident’s red oak showed signs of distress. The arborist evaluated the site but didn’t see any evidence of pests or pathogens. The arborist then noticed a curb cutout that indicated the presence of a driveway in the past. 

Upon further investigation, and thanks to satellite imagery, the arborist was able to confirm her hunch that 19 years ago there was, in fact, a driveway. While the driveway has since been removed, the red oak remains – but for how long? When construction and land disturbance like this is conducted in such close proximity to the tree’s critical root zone, there is potential for permanent damage to the tree.

Google imagery shows residence without driveway in 2020
Google imagery shows evidence with driveway in 2002

Some communities require tree preservation for things like construction projects. Be sure to check in with your local municipality to learn what they require.

Soil compaction within the trees’ root zones from foot traffic and heavy equipment is a concern when it comes to construction on properties. Our certified arborists can create a customized protection plan that best fits your tree’s needs. 

Even when closely and carefully monitored, it is almost impossible to anticipate your tree’s needs. While we cannot reverse trees’ decline, we can help them thrive while they are around. 

Are you planning a construction or renovation project that might affect your tree? Call us today to protect these trees before it’s too late!

Call us at 703.573.3029

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