The Q&A Archives: Clearing trees to build

Question: We are planning to build on a one-acre wooded lot that has at least 12 large oaks over 100 years old and several large and medium hickory trees. How close (or far) can we place the house from some of these trees with the expectation that they will not die 2-3 years after construction. Do you suggest placing fencing around the trees to be saved and at what distance?
We want to keeps as many as possible but don't want to take the chance that some may die and have to be removed after the house it up (very expensive for this size of three!)
Also, do you recommend keeping many of the hickory trees? I understand they drop a lot of nuts.

Answer: Construction processes, including but not limited to the grading and drainage changes required for the siting of the building(s) causes so many potential hazards to trees that each case is very individualized. With so many mature and potentially valuable trees on just one acre, I would strongly suggest you work with a professionally trained and certified arborist to evaluate the trees and determine which are most worth saving, then determine the best way to try to do that. BEst of luck with your new home!

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