Take Control of Your Roots!

Trees provide many benefits – they clean the air, provide shade, and give shelter to wildlife, just to name a few. However, they can cause problems when planted too close to roads, sidewalks, homes, and other structures. That’s because some trees have aggressive roots that can break through concrete and underground pipes, causing extensive and costly damage.

If you’re concerned about tree roots overtaking your yard or growing too close to your foundation, you usually have two options – either remove the tree and stump completely or have a root barrier installed. Since most people prefer to keep their trees, installing a tree barrier can provide the perfect solution.

What is a Root Barrier?

Root barriers are designed to direct or restrict tree root growth. They are made of a flexible, durable material that is buried into the ground and placed as a “container” around your tree roots. Root barriers are best installed either when a tree is first planted or before it’s fully established. Trying to install root barriers to contain already sprawling roots can be risky as severing those roots can result in permanent tree damage.

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Problems Caused by Overaggressive Tree Roots

Roots anchor trees in the ground and provide the water and nutrients they need to survive. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize just how far they can spread or how much damage they can inflict. Moisture levels, soil conditions, and weather can all play a part in how roots grow. Sometimes these environmental factors cause them to grow close to the surface instead of burrowing deep into the soil. When this happens, even somewhat small roots can cause big problems for anything that gets in their way.

Some problems caused by overaggressive or sprawling roots include:

  • Damage to sidewalks and driveways
  • Cracked or broken pipes 
  • Tripping hazards
  • Damage to foundations
  • Destruction of landscaping

FAQs About Root Barrier Installation

Can I install root barriers myself?

Although you can install root barriers yourself, it’s not advised. That’s because you need in-depth knowledge of how to install it in a way that will be most effective without causing permanent damage to the tree. For the best results, it’s a good idea to call in a professional for this task.

When should tree root barriers be installed?

Tree barriers are most effective when installed as a tree is planted or shortly thereafter. Trying to install a root barrier around a well-established tree comes with a high risk. If you sever essential roots in the process, you could cause irreversible damage to your tree.

Can root barriers be installed around existing trees?

Installing root barriers around existing trees is possible, but requires the expertise of a tree professional to assess the best method for doing so. Younger trees with a smaller root system will be most successful, while it may not be practical to install root barriers around particularly large trees with extensive root systems.

How Long Do Root Barriers Last?

There are several different types of root barriers. The ones made of plastic are some of the most common and they’re designed to last 10 years or longer. Concrete root barriers are the most durable and can last indefinitely. There are also chemical root barriers on the market, but they can be damaging to the environment and only last for a short time.

Root Barrier vs. Tree Removal

Like everything, there are pros and cons to installing a root barrier. Sometimes, depending on the situation, it might seem like it would be easier to just remove the tree altogether – and in some cases, it is. However, sometimes people want to avoid removing a tree at all costs. That’s where it’s important to make sure that you fully understand what can happen to your property now, and in the future, if you decide one way or another. To put it simply, before you make any decision on installing a root barrier or removing a tree, it’s best to consult with a licensed tree expert who can provide you with all of the information necessary to make the right decision.
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Whether you have a plan and just need the work done safely and efficiently, or you need some help deciding what to do with your trees, contact Southern Pines Tree Service today for a consultation and a free estimate. We look forward to hearing from you!

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