As is the case in the Darwinian evolutionary theory, “survival of the fittest” in the natural selection of humankind, the same holds true for trees. In nature, trees regulate themselves. Trees that aren’t as valuable die and their competition lives off their remains. In the built environment, a totally different paradigm exists. We have the ability to manage each nuance. Trees that grow well; unfortunately, cause problems as they grow into power lines and buildings, they obstruct our views, they crack sidewalks and even attempt to grow into the foundations of our homes. Root barriers are physical underground walls placed so that structures and plants may cohabit happily together.
One possible way to ensure effective tree management is to help direct tree growth through root barriers. As with tree protection, there are active as passive management techniques. Ideally, root barriers should be placed early on in the planting and growth process so as to keep the root from damaging sidewalks in the future. If needed, we can retroactively install a root barrier around mature trees to help prevent damage to sidewalks and other structures.