Wonderful & attractive footpath management for street tree roots in Santa Cruz, California.  Photo by Ed Glatfelter-Jones with many thanks ☺

Wonderful & attractive footpath management for street tree roots in Santa Cruz, California. Photo by Ed Glatfelter-Jones with many thanks ☺

This is what they do with street trees in Santa Cruz, California USA when roots cause cracks to the footpath.   Instead of removing the tree they cut the concrete into a decorative semicircle & install sandstone pavers.  Not only does this look great, it also saves the tree from removal.

Locally I have seen many trees have their roots cut or shaved down to ground level.  This places the tree at risk of disease entering in through the wound, but also reduces the stability of the tree & can result in tree failure if the weather conditions are right.  Pretty much everything I have read says root pruning should only be done as a last resort because of these risks.

In this example in Santa Cruz, the root has not been cut.  The sandstone paving stones serve to alert pedestrians that walking conditions are changing.  As such pedestrians would naturally move over to the left & walk past the tree.  I think it is a very attractive & creative way to manage a common problem without damaging or removing a street tree.   It also doesn’t look like a an expensive management option & would be worth it considering the monetary value of a street tree asset.

A close-up showing that the ground level tree root has been retained.  Photo by Ed Glatfelter-Jones with thanks ☺

A close-up showing that the ground level tree root has been retained. Photo by Ed Glatfelter-Jones with thanks ☺

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