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tree root control

20 years ago

Woodland gardening requires coping with the roots from existing trees. Chopping out roots and amending the soil is a temporary solution at best as the roots will quickly recolonize the site. Even heavy duty landscape fabric is no match for the roots of agressive species. Three years ago I discovered a product from the Dalen Co. called weed control plus. It's a punched plastic mulch material (or paper in one version) but it is impregnated with a copper compound. It has been known for some time that such compounds cause roots to stop growing when they touch it. Root control bags and pots used by large commercial nurseries are often coated with these compounds to prevent circling roots. The fabric is light, inexpensive and very flexible. I've excavated sizeable holes for shrubs and trees (not an easy task) and lined them with the fabic to prevent root invasion. It's only been three years, but so far it's working. At the very least it gives the newly planted things a chance to get established before meeting the competition. This product is becoming more widely available at landscape centers, Do It Best stores, and by mail from Gardeners Supply in Vermont. I have no financial or other connection to this product but thought other woodland gardeners might like to give it a try.

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