Industry News: Root and Soil Concerns

Q: Will paving close to an elm choke the tree?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016  

Q: I will be paving close to a 16" elm tree, but I don't want to choke or deprive the tree from receiving water. We are in the Oakland, California, area. How much of a radius around the tree do I need to leave? I am preventing from cutting the tree down because of pavement.

A: Most of the roots that absorb water will be found along the edge of the dripline of the canopy, not close to the trunk; the farther our you can go, the better. By "paving" do you mean asphalt? If so, instead of asphalt, consider using permeable paving stones, which will allow water and oxygen to reach the roots. It is not a good idea to cover the roots with asphalt.

Responder: Ted Lubeshkoff, RCA #513, Arcadia, CA