Saturday, Apr 19, 2014
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Preserved Habitats

Habitat Protection Areas (HPA)

Are large tree protection areas in which a complete habitat of plants, soils, water regimes, animal life and nutrients work together to produce clean air, pure water, rich soils, and a population of animal life living and growing off of the biological productivity and diversity of the place.

Forest floors are among nature’s most efficient forms of storm water management methods. Rain falling on tree canopy begins to be managed as soon as raindrops fall on leaves and continues until root uptake water hours after the storm event.  One of the most effective storm water best management practices that will preserve trees and manage storm water is to preserve natural habitat and remnant forest stands on development sites.  

Rain that does make it to the ground is immediately absorbed into the forest duff, a thick organic four (4) to six (6) inch layer of fallen leaves, decaying leaf matter and native soil mulch. Finally, when rain actually gets to the surface soil level it too is quickly absorbed due to the natural porosity of the soil caused by root growth soil insects and ground creatures who mine the soil for food and nutrients.

Tree Protection Area

Trees may consume hundreds of gallons of water during certain weather periods and therefore become natural storm water BMP’s. Tree protection areas (TPA) protect critical root zones (CRZ) on special protected trees. Preserving complete tree biology is an important sustainability principle that all landscape codes should recognize.

Tree protection areas (TPA) are small habitat preservation areas that are set aside an area around the trunk of a tree to be preserved on a development site. The purpose of the TPA is to protect the critical root zone (CRZ) of the tree and to prevent damage or interference during construction.   This area is established in several ways including tree size, diameter of the crown, diameter of the tree at DBH, and location of the feeder roots where most of the water and plant nutrients are taken up by the tree.