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Mr. Smarty Plants - Protecting the Texas madrone from construction damage

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Monday - January 11, 2010

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Protecting the Texas madrone from construction damage
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best way to protect Texas Madrone trees (small, 8'-10') from damage during construction of a new home on a site with some single, some grouped Madrones?

ANSWER:

Of course, you need to protect the trunks and branches from injury, but equally important is protecting the roots from damage by limiting as much as possible heavy traffic over them.  The University of Minnesota Extension Service's Protecting Trees from Construction Damage:  A Homeowner's Guide has an excellent discussion of possible problems and their solutions. Unfortunately, however, Arbutus xalapensis (Texas madrone) is not on their list of Tree Characteristics showing the tolerance of various trees to construction disturbance; so, to be on the safe side, I would treat the madrone as intermediate or medium in sensitivity at the very least and, perhaps, even as very sensitive to root damage.  Given the difficulties in propagating the tree and its increaing rarity, you should take especial care of your beautiful trees.   Here is a nice discussion of the Texas madrone.

Here are a couple of other excellent articles—Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction from the International Society of Arboriculture and Protecting Trees During Construction from the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service.

 

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