What to do with Trees when Planning a Development?

What to do with Trees when Planning a Development?

Building edifications on a plot that has pre-existing plants requires an analysis that nobody should take lightly. Many times – by concentrating exclusively on issues of architecture, budget, and time – the distribution of the vegetation is neglected by the builders, just to achieve harmony of the other elements, but the building and its environment are crucial too.

There are several practices, such as conservation, transplants, pruning, felling, maintenance of green spaces, etc. that must be known and considered in advance to make better decisions.

This article was prepared with the collaboration of an expert Tree surgeon from Edinburg and seeks to make the reader reflect on what should be done with trees on a construction site: Should they be uprooted or cut down and left to dry?

The Trees can be your Best Allies

Vegetation can be an excellent environmental ally that provides multiple benefits to urban urbanism. One of the main questions that arise when building houses is the following: What to do with the trees that are nearby?

Whether the construction is carried out in an open or closed neighborhood, it is usual that in the lot, plot, or land of the project there is some type of forest on which it is necessary to decide what to do.

Although there are architects who argue that it is necessary to root them out to avoid future problems in the foundations of the new home; others maintain that this is not necessary. It can be enough to simply cut them and let them dry and decompose, thus contributing their nutrients to the soil.

But those are not the only options that exist. Some organizations defend the idea of protection and conservation of trees and also defend the implementation of alternative solutions when undertaking the task of building in spaces where plants exist.

Many times the works need all the trees to be removed and others only require periodic maintenance of pruning and watering so that they do not have to look for water beyond their perimeter and thus control their developments.

Rethinking what to do with the surrounding vegetation in building projects is necessary to make the best choice in each case.

Urban reforestation

Planting tree species does not have to be an impromptu action, there are a few practical considerations to take when reforesting the field on site.

Our friends at Arborist Direct Edinburgh know how complex this process can be, which is why they have shared with us these important recommendations to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid placing plants in spaces near foundations and gas, water, sewage, irrigation, or electricity pipes.
  2. Before planting trees or shrubs, it is key to know what volume they will develop when they complete their growth after several years. We suggest searching the internet for adult species and projecting growth. It is also essential to know the types of soils, the hydric and thermal regime of the region, etc. to guide the choice towards species more compatible with the place.
  3. If you want to have green leaves during the four seasons, avoid choosing deciduous trees, since they generally lose their leaves in autumn-winter. Another related issue is the location of the pool on the ground, since if the tree is defoliated in winter all its leaves will fall on the pool. As long as a tree is evergreen it would not affect the pool.
  4. Keep in mind that evergreen trees when growing can interfere with their shade from the little sunlight that arrives in winter.

In summary, when carrying out urban reforestation and distributing the trees on the ground, aesthetic and functional qualities you must consider the specific shape, foliage behavior, susceptibility to pests and diseases, size, magnitude, growth speed, longevity, resistance to frost, presence of flowers, type of fruits, presence of thorns, allergenic character, etc.

The Most Iconic Modern Scottish Architecture

The Most Iconic Modern Scottish Architecture

Renovation and preservation have always played an important role in Scottish architecture in recent years, including the Charles Rennie Mackintosh lighthouse in Glasgow. Who is now home to Scotland’s Center for Design and Architecture, or the magnificent glass-fronted Edinburgh Festival of Theater, which boasts the largest performance area in Scotland – second only to the Royal Opera House in the UK.

The banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow boast many eye-catching modern architectural masterpieces. Norman Foster’s Clyde Auditorium, which has earned the affectionate nickname ‘ The Armadillo ‘ in recent years, stands proudly across the river from the titanium-clad Glasgow Science Center.

Further west along the river we can find the iconic Glasgow Riverside Museum, designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, and the city’s Transport Home Museum. Officially unveiled in July 2011, the imposing structure already dominates the Glasgow skyline with its striking wave outline and clear glass facade.

In Edinburgh, the world-renowned Scottish Parliament building is situated at the bottom of the Royal Mile. The building was designed by the late architect of Catalan origin, Enric Miralles. He said to have been inspired by the surrounding landscape. The construction is a mix of steel, oak, and granite and was officially opened in 2004.

The National Museum of Scotland underwent a major refurbishment that restored the original splendor of the A Grade Victorian building which introduced new modern details such as wrought iron balconies and a soaring glass ceiling, which together created an impressive bird cage-style structure.

To the north of Dundee, we can find the Dundee Contemporary Arts Center: one of the most innovative modern spaces in the city.

The Maggie Center at Ninewells was architect Frank Gehry’s first building in the UK. The center, which provides support and care to people affected by cancer, was named ‘Building of the Year’ by the Royal Scottish Fine Arts Commission and was also nominated for the 2004 RIAS Andrew Doolan Prize for Architecture.