How often have you gone for a run and seen sidewalks heaved out of place or cracked due to tree roots? Sadly, this issue is all too common. Not only are the destroyed sidewalks a possible accident for pedestrians, fixing the condition can be damaging to the tree.
Prevention is the best way not to have to deal with problematic tree root systems. When root issues develop, root pruning might be needed. However, root pruning is nothing to play with and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Avoid putting trees in spaces with less than three feet between paved spots. In spots with three to four feet between paved areas, put trees that mature to a height of fewer than 30 feet. In spaces with five to six feet between paved spots, pick trees that grow around 50 feet tall. Save trees that grow larger than 45 feet for places with approximately eight feet between paved sections. This delivers enough space for tree roots.
Things to know before planting trees near a sidewalk? Don’t plant shallow rooted tree types near sidewalks.
Sugar maple, red maple, Norwood maple, ash, tuliptree, pin oak, sweetgum, cottonwoods, poplars, American elm, willows are examples of shallow-rooted trees.
Install root barriers around the tree-side border of the sidewalk. The barrier will make tree roots grow deeply under the sidewalk, stopping any heaving.
Barriers can be constructed of geotextile fabric or plastic. It should go one foot deep and around five or six feet in either direction from the spot on the sidewalk’s edge nearest to the tree.
Trees close to sidewalks
The area between the sidewalk and a street curb is referred to as a parkway, streetscape, or treelawn according to where you live in the US. Small trees are most appropriate for planting in near sidewalks since their roots don’t grow quite big.
Plant big trees such as oaks for larger spaces, those over eight feet wide since their roots can push up the pavement and sidewalk if planted too close.
Get in touch with a Rochester arborist if you need more information about which trees work best near sidewalks.
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