As the civil development at Moncrieff East approaches completion, landscaping works are increasingly in the focus, both in the housing and communal areas.

A key element of the landscaping works is the consolidation period, during which landscaping contractor is obliged to follow-up any cases where trees or grass has failed to ‘strike’ or to become established. Failure to strike can result from a multitude of reasons, and overcoming these is the responsibility of the landscaping contractor until handover to the client.

Another key activity during the landscaping phase is the protection of pavements and other sensitive structures from the influence of roots as they grow laterally in search of groundwater.

The roots can affect structures either directly through physical displacement of kerbs, footpaths and paving, or indirectly, by creating a ground moisture differential as they draw water out from the soil upwards through the tree organism. The effects of this moisture differential is most pronounced in reactive clay soils which can in extreme cases cause structural damage to buildings and other major infrastructure.

At Moncrieff East, Root barriers are installed at sensitive locations to prevent these problems. Made from various materials, including durable thin impervious polyethylene sheets, when placed vertically in a narrow ditch, even relatively shallow barriers can have a significant effect on the integrity of future developments by forcing roots downwards rather than outwards.

Type ‘root damage’ in your favourite image search engine to see the powerful effects roots can have, and if you are thinking of planting at home, learn how you can protect your house.