Evaluating the Growth of Tree Roots Beneath Permeable Pavements

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Evaluating the Growth of Tree Roots Beneath Permeable Pavements

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Street trees provide significant increases to the liveability of urban towns and cities, providing social, economic and environmental benefits as well as mitigating the effects of urbanisation. Urban development has led to an increase in impervious surfaces, placing constraints on street tree health such as reduced soil volume, limited root growth and water and nutrient availability. Several of these constraints must be addressed to effectively integrate street trees into an urban environment.

One of the most prominent issues associated with street trees is the damage caused by tree roots seeking out water at the surface or under pavement surfaces.  This study will investigate the effects of various sub-base aggregates on the root growth of the trees in order to determine the structure of the root system and draw conclusions on the benefits to the tree health and stability as well as reducing root damage to the paving and surrounding infrastructure.  The study will also look at the effects that four different permeable pavement designs have on the health and root system of street trees.

The results of this study will assist in providing the Sunshine Coast Council with a set of guidelines and recommendations on the use of permeable pavements as a means of mitigating structural damage to surrounding infrastructure from tree roots, as well as improving the health and growth rate of the trees.

This project is funded and supported by the Sunshine Coast Council.

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