While tree tagging for a project may not be perceived as glamorous as a ground breaking, toping-off ceremony, building dedication or even a curtain wall wind tunnel test, it is a necessary and interesting responsibility. To some this may seem an odd task on the project but it is a process through which we assure that we’re getting the design product and the design we’ve worked so diligently toward.
One recent tree tagging trip gained significance because it was the first time in my career that I’ve tagged trees with the architect present. I never consciously choose to include or exclude the architect; it was often easier to schedule the trip solo. However, on this trip I realized what an invaluable resource and benefit including the architect is.
I was glad the architect joined me not only so he had the chance to see what the sizes of these plants are when planted, but also to weigh in when we had to make decisions on substitutions. Substitutions occur for many reasons: the plants selected originally are unavailable, plants in the specified size are unavailable or plants specified aren’t exactly what we’re looking for, etc. In this instance, neither of us liked a particular species of tree specified. We needed to make a change.
Collectively, the nursery and landscape contractor offered options for us to consider and keeping budget in mind we arrived at a direction that both of us felt was a much better solution than simply moving ahead on those documented.
The challenge with tagging trees is they each, even within a single species, have their individual idiosyncratic characteristics: a main branch heading off there and there, a lopsided crown, broken leader, excusable damage, inexcusable damage, they’re an ugly duckling when young, but keeping in mind that they will change with time you look for characteristics that exemplify the species. Then I hope tree is dug, transported, planted and maintained correctly.
I enjoy tagging trees. I’ve met some very interesting people over the years and had many unique experiences. But this was a new experience by including the architect and hearing another perspective while we tagged trees and enjoyed the adventures of this most recent trip.