Credit 2.2: Trees and Snags
This credit applies for preservation of trees, including standing dead trees (snags), on waterfront properties, and particularly in the riparian buffer.
This credit applies to all types of projects and shore types. Emphasis is on retaining trees and snags in riparian areas.
How to proceed
Living trees do not have to be very large to provide the many benefits listed above. When doing any project work, protect the tree and its roots from damage by installing a construction fence at the drip line around the tree to exclude soil disturbance and heavy equipment. Use trees to frame views to the water.
Evaluate existing dead standing trees on the site for their potential as wildlife trees. According to Santiago and Rodewald (2004), large snags (greater than 15 inches diameter at breast height and taller than 6 feet) are required for larger species such as certain woodpeckers; smaller birds and animals may use snags or dead limbs from 4 inches in diameter. Generally, the value of a snag tree increases as its size increases. The species of snags retained should reflect the native trees found in the area.
Landowners may need to consult a professional when determining if a snag presents a substantial hazard, particularly given the relative location of the snag to existing or proposed buildings. If removal must occur, remove only unwanted portions of the trees; this allows the remaining portions to provide valuable wildlife habitat. Remember that trees and snags are part of functional riparian vegetation (Section 3.1).
This credit offers up to 8 base points plus 1 bonus point. For the purpose of this guide, “riparian buffer” (RB) is the shoreline area that lies within the minimum riparian buffer/setback required by the local jurisdiction OR within 35 ft/10 m of the OHWM (measured as the horizontal distance landward of the OHWM), whichever is greater.
|Trees and Snags||
|For lots ¼ acre||For lots ¼ acre|
|Retain existing trees of minimum size 4” (10 cm) DBH (diameter at breast height) within the RB ORPlant new trees of minimum size 3” (7.5 cm) DBH in the RB.||1 point per existing or new tree to maximum of 4 points||1 point per two existing or new trees to maximum of 4 points|
|Retain a minimum of two snags/acre on the property; for properties less than 1 acre, retain a minimum of one snag. Snags may be of any diameter but must be a minimum 12 ft (4 m) in height.||
|Bonus (available once 1 or more base conditions are met)||Bonus points|
|In addition to one or more of the above basic actions, install one or more nest boxes for cavity dwelling birds.1||
1 Cavity dwelling birds are birds that excavate nesting holes themselves (such as woodpeckers), use natural cavities resulting from decay of trees or pilings (such as purple martins), or use holes created by other species in dead or deteriorating trees (such as owls and wood ducks). According to the US Dept. of Agriculture, some 85 species of birds in North America are cavity nesters (Scott et al., 1977), but many of their populations are in decline because of habitat loss, particularly nesting habitat. Nest boxes can be designed specifically to attract one or more of these species.
Example 3.2.1 Marine: An example of retention of snags and large trees on the marine shoreline (MSDG RE-8).
Example 3.2.2 Freshwater: An example of retention of large trees in the freshwater environment on a small lot (Taylor).
For more information
BC Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program. http://wildlifetree.ca/
Santiago, Melissa J. and Rodewald, Amanda D. 2004. Dead Trees as Resources for Forest Wildlife. The Ohio State University Extension, School of Natural Resources. Publication #W-18-04. Go to http://ohioline.osu.edu/search.php and enter “dead trees” in the search box.
Scott, Virgil E., Keith E. Evans, David R. Patton, and Charles P. Stone. 1977. Cavity-nesting birds of North American forests. U.S. Dep. Agric., Agric. Handbook. 511, 112 p. Go to http://www.na.fs.fed.us/ and enter “cavity nesting birds” in the search box.
Tree People http://www.treepeople.org/top-22-benefits-trees