Protect Your Landscape When Remodeling

By Nancy Penrose

Renovation and construction projects can cause significant damage to your property’s landscape. In addition to breaking branches and tearing bark, workers and equipment can seriously injure root systems that provide your foliage with water and nutrients. Any type of excavation or the addition of patios, driveways and walkways can also impact the health of your plants.

If you plan to remodel, take steps beforehand to protect your trees and shrubs. Start by creating paths with fencing and signage that keep foot traffic and equipment away from your plants and plant roots. You can also use layers of wood chips to prevent plant and tree roots from suffocating due to soil compaction.

Will the site need to be cleared? Taking trees and shrubs away that provide sun and wind protection for other foliage can lead to more landscape damage and loss over time.

One way to avoid landscape damage is to store trees and shrubs during construction and re-plant them after the project has been completed.

We do this all the time for both home and commercial projects. The process starts by carefully preparing the trees or shrubs for transportation. When big trees are involved, a root ball will need to be created. Root balls contain both the plant’s roots and surrounding soil. The size of the tree determines the diameter of the ball. Large trees will have large root balls, sometimes up to 10 feet or more in diameter.

Once the trees and shrubs are ready for transport, we bring them back to our nursery and take care of them until the construction work is done. Plants can usually remain in storage for up to 3 years.

Storing trees can prevent the loss of valuable foliage. If you have questions about how and when to store trees and other foliage, contact one of our big tree specialists. We can go over all of your options and help you make the best decision possible regarding your landscape.

Nancy Penrose is owner of Big Trees Inc. (, (tree nursery Snohomish, WA), one of the largest Seattle tree nurserys (see inventory at, specializing in large trees for sale and tree transplanting. See our video at