How to Incorporate a Tree Preservation Plan Into Your Project

Tree preservation planning should be considered when creating a site plan in the pre-construction phase and is preferred to replacement, as a new tree, in addition to costing money to buy and plant,  requires 20 to 30 years to provide significant aesthetic, infrastructure, and environmental benefits. One of the first decisions is to determine which trees are to be preserved and which should be removed. This would be accomplished by conducting a general tree assessment on your property.  Fort Smith Tree Conservation Partners is here to help! Contact us and one of our volunteers will arrange an on-site meeting to assist with this first step.  Benefits of participating in a tree assessment:


Provide you with recommendations on which trees should be preserved and which should be removed


Construction management strategies regarding tree protection during the land preparation and construction phase


Recommendations as to  the optimal site layout for the building footprint, parking areas, driveways, utilities, necessary grade changes, and drainage based on the tree assessment 

Considerations During Your Tree Assessment

The size, species, maturity, location and condition of each tree should be evaluated. The largest, most mature trees are not always the best to preserve. Younger, more vigorous trees can usually survive and adapt to the stresses of construction better.  However, it is large, old trees that are most often the focus of preservation. Of course, it is possible to preserve old trees as long as they are healthy, but younger ones may give the best return on investment. Vigorous trees usually have full canopies and healthy leaves. Consider the following factors when deciding which trees to preserve: 

  • Tree life expectancy and present age
  • Species desirability 
  • Health and disease susceptibility
  • Overall quality and structural integrity
  • Aesthetic values  
  • Historic significance
  • Wildlife
  • Adaptability to the proposed development
  • Survival needs of the tree 
  • Relationship to other trees   

Fort Smith Tree Conservation Partners will provide assistance with evaluating all the above factors.