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  1. #1
    FREE ANTROBERTSON !!!! SunTzu's Avatar
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    How to deal with existing trees when building ?

    How to deal with existing trees when building ?



    A thread to give some guidelines on how to deal with existing trees when you're gonna build something, may it be a house, a bungalow, or a large project. Here in the LOS, most sellers will carefully clear the land of anything interesting before selling it to you, but if you're lucky enough to have some trees on it, there are a few things to do, and a few things NOT to do, to optimize their value.

    Gonna have to have several parts for this thread, as I plan to cover the subject with a minimum of depth :

    1 - Why are trees valuable to your property ?
    2 - Assessing your trees values
    3 - Basic tree mechanism
    4 - What NOT to do
    5 - A bit of planning
    6 - Whats and whats NOT during construction



    There's gonna be plenty a pictures, all taken by myself except stated otherwise. You guys are more than welcome to post picts and stories of your own, so we can talk about how to keep these beauties healthy and looking good.




    Part 1 - Why are trees valuable to your property ?

    I could go ppt style with this, and just pop up a bullet list, and it's prolly what I'll do when I gather all this on a PDF (is it possible to make a downloadable one on TD ?)

    Untill then, let's go TD style, and just spray the thing as it comes, with some pics.

    reason # 1 :



    Where do people park ?
    That's right, we live in quite a hot place, and trees provide a good deal of shadow. That'll help keep you more comfortable, and your beer cool. Who has ever been drinking their cocktails in full sun ?
    On top of providing shadow, trees also evaporate water, and that helps them stay fresh when its too hot, just like your body does when you sweat. So better let the trees do the sweating.

    Picasa Web Albums - Treelove - Tree support
    If you're smart enough to build where your tree is gonna grow, that will definetely help keep your place at a reasonable temperature, and save you money on the electricity bill at the end of the month. Do I need to say that you'll be more comfy and sleep better ? How about the morning view through the bedroom window, when you wake up ?

    Reason #2



    $$$
    Any property developer who has his brain in the right place knows that property value increases with the beauty/size of your trees. Any hotel manager knows he can charge more for the same room when there's nice trees around.
    This has been extensively proven by studies in the States and Europe, and works just the same here : mature trees increase the value of a property by 5-10% as opposed to the same property 'naked'.

    So now, your choice to stay poor and let the rich get all the goodies.




    You don't need a Palace like the one pictured here (Lopburi) to get decent trees. If your land isn't that big, one will do the trick, and it doesn't have to be huge either. Ask any bar girl, they'll also tell you that they come in all sizes and colors.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    I just planted twenty-two Foxtail Palms in various locations on the property. Got them fairly reasonable too at 300 baht each. All of them are like 15 ft. tall but the crane truck driver screwed-up the tops of them somewhat so they are looking a bit naked. Will post pics soon.

  3. #3
    FREE ANTROBERTSON !!!! SunTzu's Avatar
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    please do, there might be something to do about it.

  4. #4
    FREE ANTROBERTSON !!!! SunTzu's Avatar
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    Part 2 - Assess your trees

    Part 2 - Assess your trees


    So now you've got the land, and lucky you, there are trees there already. What should you do with them ? Are they worth the trouble ? (we'll see more about that also in the 'planning' chapter)
    And more importantly, how are you gonna explain other TD members that you're not another darn TreeHugger, whatever that means ?

    It's a bit of a delicate phase in some situations, because there are plenty of factors involved :
    - size of the tree of course
    - its ornemental interest (flowers, fruits, nice looking bark or branches...)
    - its botanical interest (rarity, pest tree, special relationship with delicate environment such as beach , or with a special animal...)
    - its environmental interest (roots hold soil on a slope, blocks dust from road, branches blocks the wind or give you shadow just where you want it...)

    Size is obviously very important : a large or very large tree already provides large benefits, and you should consider twice any intervention near it. But size is by far not the only factor, because a healthy smaller but younger tree already in place has the best chances to grow quickly and nicely. Much quicker and nicer than any tree you would plant to replace it.


    So, lets keep it simple and forget that bullet list for now and focus on the one most important thing :
    Have your tree good prospects to grow nicely ?
    We can break that down in basically two things : is it healthy and is it planted in the right place already ?

    If you can answer yes twice, consider that tree a serious candidate for your garden.


    Time for some pics : a case study



    Pretty big eucalyptuses with already a rather consequent foliage. Interesting.



    Now, looking closer, you can see they've been cut already some time ago. They've been growing branches again, hence the foliage, but their shape is ruined, and they actually dont look that nice. Looking even closer, at the spot where they've been cut you can see a remnant of the former trunk, that now looks like a dead branch stump.
    That thing is rotten. We only see part of the rot (like the tip of the iceberg thing), but it goes much deeper inside the tree. There are other old injuries on different parts of their trunks, that show more rot inside.

    Basically, these trees are rotten inside, and not structurally solid any more, i.e. they could fall easily under a moderately strong wind gust.

    So well, a eucalyptus is already not that interesting anymore once its shape is ruined, but these trees are also accidents waiting to happen. Rule them out.




    Next to these big eucalyptuses is a small young rain tree.

    Quite healthy and vigorous, intact, a promise of a large beautiful raintree to come. Keep it. Moreover, young trees like this are stronger and have good chances to recover fully, so you can carefuly transplant it somewhere else if its location bothers you.


    Picasa Web Albums - Treelove - Tree support
    same project, a rain tree.

    Look at its branches : shape totally ruined, that tree has been butchered far too many times, its health is declining (not abundant foliage shows that the tree is not strong enough to keep up the constant struggle). Cut without regret, dont be a silly hippie treehugger.



    same place, a larger rain tree, swallowing the fence.

    I wanted to keep this one, because even though it's crown has been butchered as well, its foliage hides a large electric transformer. We could have replaced the fence around it, while arranging something special in this area.

    But its health is not good.



    Now, looking closer, it gets worse : this tree has no chance to grow beautifully.

    Banyans can grow around walls, but not many trees can achieve such a feat. So well, the hell with it, cut it as well.


    If these kind of not nice looking unhealthy trees was all you had on your land, you might still want to keep them for some time to have some greenery around, waiting for the young trees you plant next to them to have a size of sorts, and to replace them.

    Basicaly here, cut them all except the small one. Now, who's a silly treehugger, huh ? But that's a bit of an extreme case, just perfect for this 'assesment exercise.
    Let me assure you that I save any trees I can.



    That's all for this project, where we can see that size matters less than health and potential of a nice future. Any bargirl could have told you the same, did you really need me to tell you ?

  5. #5
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    I went to a lot of trouble to save two large trees at my place. Made a fatal mistake though. Raised the property about a meter and a half with fill at the base of the trees.

    Trees died within two years. Shame I didn't know not to put fill around the trees.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  6. #6
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    Shame on you norts....only seems natural now but don't it ?

    Never mind.....even experienced developers do it, see it around here all the time.

    Then there is the nonces up the road that raised it more than a meter all around the tree....but not up to the tree....left a nice wide area around the tree. free and clear of any dirt.....even wider than the trees canopy.

    Then the first rains, it filled up, nowhere to drain....stayed full for weeks, still muddy on the bottom. Tree will rot and die sooner later for sure.
    I like poisoning my neighbours dogs till they die cos I'm a cnut

  7. #7
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty
    Shame on you norts
    Yep. Live and learn. Ignorance is seldom bliss.

  8. #8
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    I wanted to save some trees on my plot.
    I thought they would provide shade.
    Unfortunately my compound flooded really badly, and I realised that although the house was not in jeapody from water, the trees were.
    I had them removed at no cost.
    Shame cos I really liked them.
    Falling asleep and waking up is not the same as passing out and coming to.

  9. #9
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    Removed ??

    Shocking....surely there was another way to save them.

    Where is Sunny when we need him.

  10. #10
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    Standing water would have rotted them.
    They were rubber trees.
    I asked a man who knows, and he gave them 3 years.

  11. #11
    FREE ANTROBERTSON !!!! SunTzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    I went to a lot of trouble to save two large trees at my place. Made a fatal mistake though. Raised the property about a meter and a half with fill at the base of the trees. Trees died within two years. Shame I didn't know not to put fill around the trees.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty
    Then there is the nonces up the road that raised it more than a meter all around the tree....but not up to the tree....left a nice wide area around the tree. free and clear of any dirt.....even wider than the trees canopy. Then the first rains, it filled up, nowhere to drain....stayed full for weeks, still muddy on the bottom. Tree will rot and die sooner later for sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by the dogcatcher
    Standing water would have rotted them. They were rubber trees. I asked a man who knows, and he gave them 3 years.
    Yep, this is a classic. We'll see a bit more about that further in the thread, but roots are the largest (in occurences) cause of trees death. People dont see them and underestimate or plainly ignore how important they are. Don't we just say "the roots of all problems", "people's roots", etc... ?

    Thus the classic tree deaths by fill/cut of all roots. Second classic is to neglect drainage : once again kills the roots, thus the tree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty
    Never mind.....even experienced developers do it, see it around here all the time.
    I don't remember meeting experienced developpers in Thailand. At least experienced in the topic at hand : trees.


    will come back to advance the thread a bit tonight. Cherios !

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