UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Homebuilder Activities and Knowledge of Tree Preservation during Construction: Comparison of Practitioners in Rural and Urban Locations O’Herrin, Keith; Hauer, Richard; Pike, Kaitlyn; Vogt, Jess


Preservation of existing trees is one of the few tools available to communities seeking to maintain or increase tree canopy coverage. This study compared the knowledge and activities of builders in an urban locale with a strict tree preservation ordinance and rigorous enforcement against a rural locale with no tree preservation ordinance. Overall, there were more similarities than differences between the two groups though some of those differences are very important. Urban builders and rural builders scored a very similar average of correct responses on questions testing their knowledge: 63% and 65%, respectively. The major difference between urban and rural appears to be in activities as dictated by ordinance. Urban builders were more likely to consult tree preservation experts and use tree fence to create tree protection zones. The successful tree preservation outcomes in the urban community are likely a direct result of ordinance requirements and enforcement by the City Forester, not builders’ knowledge or their conscious decisions.

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