With population growth and the changing needs of people, the construction of new or renovation of existing buildings, roads, parking lots, and other structures is a necessity. In many areas, this construction requires the removal of trees and shrubs to provide space for the structure. In addition, there are usually trees on the site that can either be removed or retained depending on the building location and access. Builders who lack environmental concern, underestimate the value of mature trees, or look only at short term costs, often remove all of the trees to make their construction job easier. Others who are concerned with the environment and are aware of the economical and social value of mature trees, or those restricted by government regulation will try to conserve trees on the site.
Conservation is the process of selecting trees, forest stands, shrubs and understory growth for protection during development. It is not necessarily the preservation of all trees on the site, but is the thoughtful process of selecting certain trees for protection and removing trees that cannot, or should not, be preserved.
Tree retention is not the same as tree preservation. When trees are retained on a construction site without necessary protection, the likelihood of their long-term survival is often very low. BMP Managing Trees During Construction discusses these concerns
Authors Kelby Fite and E. Thomas Smiley