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ROOTS IN STRATACELL

JOHN ATKINS | DIRECTOR, TREEOLOGY

An Evaluation of Root Growth Patterns

In December 2015, two Hills Weeping Figs (Ficus microcarpa var. ‘Hillii’) were excavated to evaluate
In December 2015, two Hills Weeping Figs
(Ficus microcarpa var. ‘Hillii’) were excavated
to evaluate the root growth patterns in Citygreen’s
Stratacell systems. This report documents the
patterns of root growth and states key findings
on the Stratacell system.

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This report documents the patterns of root growth and states key findings on the Stratacell system.

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Contents

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Key Findings

Outline

Location of Trees

Site Conditions

Soil Profile

Tree Health

Visual inspection data

Chlorophyll Fluorescence values (CF)

Construction method (2011)

Excavation Method (2015)

Observations

Discussion

Conclusions

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

References

About the Author

Conclusions Appendix 1 Appendix 2 References About the Author Roots in Stratacell | © Citygreen 2016

Roots in Stratacell | © Citygreen 2016

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Key Findings

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Starting with a well grown nursery tree with an evenly distributed and well colonized rootball is a great start to the establishment of landscape trees. The use of trees produced that conform to NATSPEC is recommended.

The use of the Root Director barrier, Filtergrid membrane and coarse gravel established a zone almost completely free of surface roots. The use of this system is likely to significantly minimise the damage to paved surfaces about landscape trees.

Increasing the gaseous exchange potential at lower depths within the tree planting vault increased root colonization and proliferation. The use of RootRain piping, a sandy loam soil mix encouraged root development to lower depths in the tree vault system.

To increase the colonization of tree planting vaults using the Stratacell system, installing RootRain piping throughout the vault and at varying levels is likely to achieve greater occupancy. If the aeration system is combined with irrigation that pulses water through more of the tree vault, especially during dry periods, occupancy levels are likely to be increased.

The Stratacell system was shown repeatedly to permit root spread in a lateral and vertical manner within the tree vault. The Stratacell formation provided adequate space for root development and possibly encouraged lateral spread of roots along the top surface of each layer.

The strong correlation of root growth on the upper side of the RootRain piping indicates that this zone provides optimal conditions for root growth. It is likely a combination of good aeration and the water available is the major cause.

Significant root spread and depth was achieved in only 4 years of growth through the use of the Stratacell tree planting system.

Overall tree health was not impeded by the use of the Stratacell system and generally the trees health was found to be excellent.

The stability of trees to storm damage and wind throw resistance are likely to be improved when trees are planted in Stratacell systems of tree vaults due to the development of deeper roots.

systems of tree vaults due to the development of deeper roots. www.citygreen.com Roots in Stratacell |

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Roots in Stratacell | © Citygreen 2016

systems of tree vaults due to the development of deeper roots. www.citygreen.com Roots in Stratacell |

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Stratacell” by John Atkins.

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by John Atkins. http://info.citygreen.com/roots-in-stratacell 4 Roots in Stratacell | © Citygreen 2016 www.citygreen.com

Roots in Stratacell | © Citygreen 2016

by John Atkins. http://info.citygreen.com/roots-in-stratacell 4 Roots in Stratacell | © Citygreen 2016 www.citygreen.com

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