Installing Root Barriers to Protect Property in Brisbane and Beyond.

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Root Barrier Installation Brisbane

Why Install a Root Barrier?

There are many reasons to install a Root Barrier; namely to protect property, underground pipes, cables and telecommunication wires from expanding tree roots.  Depending on the species, a tree can have extensive root masses which spread far from the tree base causing problems for surrounding buildings, driveways, pavements and roads.

The Importance of Roots

Roots are extremely important for the health and growth of trees as they:

  • Take up air, water and nutrients from the soil and move them up into the leaves.
  • They provide an anchor to keep the tree stable in the ground.
  • They secrete compounds that affect the microorganisms in the soil.

Healthy roots need deep soil, adequate moisture and nutrients to survive and thrive.

Roots Can Cause Problems

Unfortunately, roots can cause problems for both homeowners and commercial buildings owners as they are apt to cause structural damage to concrete slabs and also movement to buildings.  City councils also have issues with tree roots moving and lifting pavement slabs causing dangerous trip hazards to the general public.

Inserting a root barrier around a tree is:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Effective and preventative
  • Cost effective
  • Eliminates the need for a tree to be removed in order to protect property

Installing a Root Barrier does not need to be invasive, as using vacuum excavation has made the process easier and cleaner.  Prior to Vacuum Excavation trucks being available, root barriers would have been dug by hand which would be hard, physical and time-consuming labour.  Excavator diggers were also used to dig trenches at great risk to underground utilities and the tree itself.  Using Vacuum Excavators to dig trenches for root barriers eradicates the risk to underground pipes and utilities and is a much safer option for the tree.

Use a Root Barrier to Prevent damage to Underground Utilities


Tree Protection Zone

A root barrier installation should always be overseen by an experienced and qualified arborist who understands tree biology and growth patterns. They will know the best position to insert the root barrier and how to protect the roots so that the tree remains healthy. The trench must always be dug outside of the Structural Root Zone (SRZ) to protect the tree and within the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ). The calculations to ascertain the protection zones are based on the Australian Standard AS4970-2009 Protection of Trees on Development sites.


The Root Barrier prevents the roots from spreading without harming the tree


How it works

The Arborist will locate the tree roots by using the perimeter of the tree’s canopy as a guide.  Using a Vacuum Excavation wand (a high-powered hose) to remove soil and clay, the tree roots will be exposed.  A root barrier trench can either be dug out in a semi-circle around the tree or in a straight line alongside a fence line for example. Generally, a trench is 900 mm deep and 100mm wide but can be dug to any size requirements.  Once the tree roots have been located the soft wand is used to expose the roots while keeping the Cambium layer (skin) intact as this will protect them.  If the cambium layer is removed the tree roots will die thus great harming the tree’s, chances of survival.

Once the tree roots are exposed and the trench is dug, the tree roots are cut and a natural honey solution is used to treat the ends of the cut roots. The honey seals the cut root ends and reduces the risk of fungus and pests. A specially designed root barrier material can then be positioned within the trench.  Next a layer of Bentonite (greyish, white granules which harden into a clay substance which tree roots will not penetrate) is poured onto the trench, followed by a layer of soil and then another layer of Bentonite.  Finally, the root barrier is backfilled with garden soil and it should be unnoticeable that a root barrier is in place.

To find out more about Tree Root Barrier Installation or to arrange your free quote call Heritage Tree Care on 0737155444 or email