Tree Preservation – Reservoir


Mark K. Morrison Associates LTD, Landscape Architecture


Tree preservation planning for construction; Highland Park, The Ridgewood Reservoir Site


Queens, New York City

The Issue

The Ridgewood Reservoir was being decommissioned. Our assignment was to evaluate the best access route for constructions vehicles that will need to accessthe basins for a dam decommissioning project. Our scope includedmaking a recommendationfor the least invasive route of travel based on field conditionsand our professional opinion for quantity and quality of all trees required forremoval with the intention of preserving as many trees as possible, taking into account theircurrent condition and consideration on whether the species of trees are considered invasive and/ornon-native.

Desired Outcome

The desired outcome was to identify the haul road route that would be least ecologically impactful by removing the fewest desirable trees.

Our Solution

Our approach included the following:

  • We started on the proposed routes and identified tree populations as we went;
  • We created a swath greater than was needed for the haul road to allow us lateral movement in the event we encountered a specimen tree;
  • We allowed the trees to “tell us which way to go”, following the path of smaller, less desirable, and invasive trees and avoiding large, native trees.

The initially proposed route options are shown in Fig1. Our recommended route based on the trees on site is shown in Fig2.