Tree preservation is an important step in site planning. Early in the design phase, the natural landscape of the area should be assessed to identify native trees and areas of significant tree concentration. These factors then serve to determine the location of parks, squares, trails and other public spaces. Such spaces function as a form of buffer zone to protect root mass and avoid unnecessary tree death. Just a single landmark tree can provide a distinctive pocket park.
Allees and hedgerows may be utilized as design features along avenues to preserve tree roots. New streets that are sited to include existing trees as street trees do not have to wait a generation for shade. If trees cannot be maintained in their existing location, they should be moved to tree-save areas and natural reserves whenever possible. Old-growth forests and existing woodland canopies provide far more ecological and economic benefit than recent plantings, improving the character of a neighborhood.