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Sources for More Information

Bulletin #20: A Systematic Approach to Building with Trees


There are numerous helpful websites available for additional information. One that contains a list of trees categorized by their sensitivity to root damage is the University of Missouri Extension’s Preventing Construction Damage to Trees.

Another that shows greater details about tolerance to root severance and soil compaction by species is University of Minnesota Extesion’s Protecting Trees from Construction Damage: A Homeowner’s Guide.

To conduct your own web search, we suggest using the phrase “construction around trees.”


Trenching & Tunneling Near Trees by James R. Fazio

From the Arbor Day Foundation, this little 34-page booklet was written primarily for utility workers and others who do underground work that can damage tree roots. However, it is equally useful for any homeowner installing a new sprinkler system, trenching for a foundation, or making a new sidewalk. Order online by following the link above, or phone Member Services at 888-448-7337.

The International Society of Arboriculture has a number of helpful books. These may be ordered by visiting their website or phoning 217-355-9411.

  • Trees and Development by Nelda Matheny and James R. Clark
  • Tree Structure and Mechanics Conference Proceedings: How Trees Stand Up and Fall Down
  • Trees and Building Sites Conference Proceedings
  • Up By Roots by James Urban

Exemplary Tree Manual

City of Gaithersburg Tree Manual was produced by the municipality to help developers through the requirements of this city’s tree protection ordinances. This is must read for any community leader planning to design similar standards designed to harmonize development with existing trees. There is a small fee for this publication. Contact:

City of Gaithersburg
Planning and Code Administration
31 S. Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877


Available from the International Society of Arboriculture at the same source as noted above:

  • Tunneling and Trenching and Utility Pruning (a 2-video set)
  • Root Injury and Tree Health

Elsewhere on Our Website

Get more information about building for greener communities and other topics related to construction around trees.

More Information

Call 1-888-448-7337 Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST

Tree City USA is an Arbor Day Foundation program in cooperation with:

United States Forest Service Logo Urban and Community Forestry Logo National Association of State Foresters Logo