Tree Roots

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A large proportion of the tree and problems associated with tree health and particularly its stability is located below ground. Very often, a close assessment of the root collar and wider root system is required to help inform tree rooting patterns and its stability. To do this we have a range of methods and equipment to help understand this often unseen area.

Root Inspection   

Visual inspection of the roots can provide a wealth of information both on the condition of the roots but also the rooting zone. As its most simple this can be a small hole in the ground to enable an assessment of a section of root or assess and area of decay close to the surface. 

Root Sampling

Testing and identifying roots can be critical to identifying their origin and ownership and can be particularly important in legal cases or cases where third party trees are suspected of being involved in building failures.

Root Exposure – Air & Hydro Excavation  

Soil can be both blown or washed away to leave behind the roots and in most situations, even small roots down to only a few millimetres can be retained and remain viable. These methods provide the best hands-on assessment of the root system, its condition and its location, but can disturb the ground and can result in site changes.  

Air Excavation

Soil can be both blown or washed away to leave behind the roots and enable their location.

For Managing & Mapping Roots

Sonic Detection

This method allows the location of bigger roots to be identified. The system uses sound, which travels faster in the roots than in the soil and by recording the location of faster sound signals, the location of the principal roots can be identified.

The results are not disturbed by other trees’ roots or pipes, though the system does require access to the soil and cannot be used in hard surfacing.

Tree Radar

Understanding where tree roots are is of key importance, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) measurement provide a high level of detail mapping tree roots down to 1cm and has several advantages. It is capable of scanning root systems of large trees under field conditions in a short time and is non-invasive, it does not disturb the soil or damage the tree. Tests can be repeated and may reveal long-term root system development and can be undertaken beneath hard surfaces (concrete, tarmac, brick) in roads and within buildings.

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