Health & Safety
Trees in the urban environment provide many benefits and contribute to the ecosystem service. Where trees are located in close proximity to structures, such as footpaths, the roots of trees have the potential to cause damage and distortion. This conflict can require some maintenance to ensure that the assests are not damaged and its safe for use. Trees in the road reserve are generally protected throughout Auckland so providing a solution whilst mitigating any damage to the trees in order to undertake repairs is where Arborlab assists with solutions. A row of visually significant Totara trees were located in the berm in close proximity to the footpath network. The monitoring team knew that to work around the roots required a careful approach to ensure the long term health and structural stability of the tree.
The Arborlab Consultants worked closely with the contractors and planning engineers to obtain resource consent through Auckland Council. A pre-commencement meeting was held with all stakeholders including Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and both primary/sub-contractors. During this meeting the Arborlab Arborist discussed the processes, methodologies and any conditions of consent that needed to be met. With signs of substantial cracks in the footpath it was anticipated there would be significant roots directly below the footpath. A careful methodology was planned out in conjunction with the onsite contractors who suggested the use of an excavator thumb which carefully lifted the concrete with minimal impact to the rooting material. The excavator thumb is not normally used on this type of job but the ‘thumb’ proved its versatility for the job. As shown in the photos, the machine grips the concrete and lifts it away from the ground with minimal contact with the underlying soil level.