The best part of walking the Rose Garden neighborhood is all the beautiful trees.
The city requires that all homes resold have 2 trees in the median between the sidewalk and the road. City Forest helps towards this goal with frequent Sycamore tree plantings in the area.
The problem is that trees and lawns don't always mix well. Watering your lawn with automated sprinklers encourages new trees to bring their roots to the surface, destroying the lawn and lifting the sidewalks.
What to do?
If you are planting a new tree or repairing a sidewalk after the damage has already been done there are a few things you can do.
- Choose an appropriate tree for the amount of space it needs.
- Don't landscape high water plants like grass near the base of the tree.
- Put in sprinkler irrigation for the tree. This is a plastic pipe that goes several feet straight down with a sprinkler inside and a slotted cap to let air in, but keep debris out.
- Put a root barrier shield 3 feet down along the edge of the sidewalk.
- When replacing a sidewalk be sure to only consider bids that include a clean gravel bed (roots seek dirt), a laid out geogrid (transfers the lifting force across the entire sidewalk) and rebar (reinforced concrete is stronger).
- Don't do major tree root pruning. A good arborist and concrete specialist can help with rebuilding the sidewalk over excavated roots. Root pruning only buys a few years and can make the tree an unstable liability hazard. Better to meander the sidewalk or remove the tree.