Excavating near a tree
Apologies if this question is beyond the scope of this forum. I’m trying to figure out how close to a tree I can excavate for a footing, without doing unacceptable damage to the tree. The attached drawing shows the basic situation. The tree is some sort of Asian elm, 40-50 feet tall, with two conjoined (inosculated?) trunks, each about 20″ in diameter.
I asked an arborist about it but he was very reluctant to give an opinion. (Makes sense — he has nothing to gain and a lot to lose by approving any kind of damage.) How do I go about figuring this out?
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