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Preventing root damages

Root control systems

Trees need lots of space, both above ground and below. Wherever trees have been planted next to paving, there is the risk of damage caused by roots. As the tree grows, the roots may push through the pavement. Root damage to roads and cycle tracks can cause dangerous situations. Furthermore, because tree roots automatically take the path of least resistance, they tend to grow towards cables and pipes, where the earth is less compact and usually more nutritious. Once roots have spread to places where they are not wanted, this is difficult and very costly to correct. That is why prevention is best. This can be either by a root barrier screen or a root guiding panel.

The difference between Root Barrier and Root Guidance
A root barrier screen, made from a smooth surface material like a coated geotextile or an HDPE foil, will block the roots, but will not guide the growth direction of the roots. A root guidance panel containing upstanding ribs will block and guide the roots downwards. A root barrier screen should be applied linearly and is the ideal solution for deflecting roots for instance between a cycle path and a green space.

When close to a tree (within 2 meters), the root guidance panel should be used, because its upstanding ribs prevent the roots from growing within the cylinder (the so-called “flower pot effect”) and assures that the tree has sufficient hold in the soil.