Trees decrease energy bills, sequester carbon and add beauty to urban landscapes. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, the roots of urban trees confined to small areas can spread, damaging sidewalks, pipes and infrastructure, adding to maintenance costs and liability. Biobarrier® Root Control System, manufactured by Fiberweb Inc., Old Hickory, Tenn., may allow landscapers to green the cityscape without incurring problematic root damage.
Biobarrier, a nonwoven polypropylene geotextile dotted with nodules of a chemical, physically confines tree roots and prevents root tip cells from dividing, but still allows roots to grow deeper into the soil. The geotextile was recently selected by Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories in Charlotte, N.C., for testing impacts of soil and barriers on tree growth in an urban plaza. A one-time installation of Biobarrier is guaranteed to prevent root damage for 15 years. For more information, visit www.biobarrier.com.