When designing a San Diego Paving Stone Patio I am often asked to place the paver area in close proximity to existing established trees. This can cause a significant future problem to a paving stone installation because many large trees have invasive roots. These roots can grow underneath and lift the pavers making the area unlevel, unsightly and even unsafe. So if you are a homeowner that is contemplating a paver installation, and you have large established trees, then keep reading, because I have written this article especially for you.
First of all, if the health and wellbeing of the tree in question is at all important to you, then the pavestone area should be kept outside the "natural canopy" of the tree. The "natural canopy" is what a tree's canopy would be absent any pruning and trimming. The installation process of a paverstone project requires excavation and removal of all organics. This includes tree roots. Many times, removal of a trees' roots, inside it's natural canopy will make the tree unstable, susceptible to disease, and may even cause death. So whenever possible it is important to design the paving stone project in a way as to keep the paved area away from the trees' vital roots.
Keeping the paverstone area away from existing tree roots, is many times, not an option. When this is the case, it is important to understand that in order to install a paver project correctly, all tree roots must be cut back and removed from the pavestone area. It is also important to understand that a healthy tree will eventually grow new roots in to the paved area again. This is why a "deep root barrier" must be installed at the perimeter of the paving stone area.
A "deep root barrier" is nothing more than a thick piece of plastic that functions to re-direct tree roots away from and around the paver stone area. To correctly install a deep root barrier, a 2' trench will be dug at the perimeter of the paved area. Then, a plastic root barrier will be installed vertically and the trench will be back filled. The installation of this mechanical barrier is really the only way to prevent future root intrusion.
Just to recap, if the tree is important to you then keep your distance with pavers. If the tree is not important to you, then use a "deep root barrier". And always keep in mind that removing any trees' roots can cause significant damage to the life of the tree.
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