Trees play an important role in San Diego commercial landscapes. They provide shade and add a vertical element to a horizontal design. Properly maintained trees are beautiful but their roots can be another story.
The root system of the tree pictured above is interesting and visually stimulating. And fortunately, the tree grows far enough away from the nearby sidewalk. If it were three feet closer, then the sidewalk would look more like a mountain range!
How to prevent tree root damage:
Avoid certain trees:
Some trees are more prone to invasive and above-ground roots. As such, you should plan accordingly if you’d like to plan these trees near buildings or hardscapes, such as driveways or sidewalks.
Here are some of San Diego’s biggest violators:
California and Brazilian Pepper trees.
Install root barrier at time of planting:
You should install root barrier at the time of planting. It can be made out of heavy plastic or metal and placed between a tree and the nearby hardscapes. This will contain the roots, which should prevent damage to surrounding areas later on.
Bio Barrier is a form of root barrier that includes root inhibitors:
Proper irrigation is crucial. Trees need periodic, deep watering, versus more frequent and shorter surface watering. This can cause issues when trees are planted in turf areas, which will have different irrigation requirements. Therefore, watering tubes should be installed to deliver water further down into the soil. This will consequently encourage deeper root growth, which can help prevent damage to hardscapes and prevent toppling trees.
Some trees, like ficus, will find their own water if not properly irrigated.
On some occasions, an you can sever an offending root or roots. However, if it’s a mature tree, removal is most likely the only option. The tree will need to be removed and its stump ground down.
To summarize, prevention is the key to avoid damage:
- Choose the correct trees
- Plant trees far enough away from hardscapes and pavement
- Use root and bio barrier
- Install deep watering pipes at time of planting
- Long, slow, deep irrigation is crucial
If you’re experiencing tree root damage on your commercial property or any other landscape related issue, contact Heaviland Landscape Management today at firstname.lastname@example.org