Conservation Easements & Saving Large, Mature Trees

Renters Can Help Our Trees Too!
Landscaping with Trees in Mind

Have a large parcel of land that you’re looking to develop? Consider entering into a Conservation Easement for your property. According to the NC DEQ, a Conservation Easement is a voluntary legal agreement designed to ensure the long-term viability and protection of the natural resources within a surveyed and recorded boundary. The easement planning process establishes allowances and restrictions that are beneficial to the landowner, the easement holder, and the environment. Once finalized, a conservation easement is recorded with the Register of Deeds of the county where the property is located. Conservation easements are perpetual and remain in place with each change in land ownership. You can learn more information on conservation and historic preservation easements through the North Carolina Environmental Quality. We recommend working with our nonprofit partner in advocacy, Catawba Lands Conservancy on any conservation easement projects you may have.

If you don’t want to enter into a formal legal agreement but still care about saving mature trees, please consider making a commitment to save as many mature trees as possible on your property. Consult with an ISA Certified Arborist (or even better, a Board-Certified Master Arborist) to determine which trees should be saved on your property. Not every tree can and should be saved. An experienced arborist will be able to tell you which trees are thriving and providing the most ecosystem benefits and which ones are in decline or invasive species and should be removed. Then commit to maximizing green space and not maxing out the developed area. Mature, existing trees do more for the environment now than young trees, but keeping those mature trees during the development process requires a strong commitment and early planning with an experienced arborist.

Cutting down large mature trees significantly impacts our tree canopy, as shown in this video.