Trees can harvest rain water successfully- by design, or by defaultAs we all know, trees are consummate survivors. They will explore every single available source of water, nutrients & soil volume via the root system for support of the growing canopy. In our cities, towns and villages worldwide, we have planted trees near roadways and gutters, and other hard paved surfaces.

As shown in these photographs, root heave is perfectly capable of breaking these structures- particularly where roots have penetrated into the pavement layers. The really interesting fact is that the tree is essentially doing its own storm water harvesting, by intercepting road run off close to the base.


Trees can harvest rain water successfully- by design, or by defaultObviously, this issue becomes self-perpetuating, with the growth being fed by reliable streams of storm water, causing further root heave and damage. Ultimately, the city is faced with a situation where a large proportion of healthy trees have to be removed, and pavement restitution commenced at great cost. The sad consequence is that the city is very likely to blame the trees for the high cost of infrastructure repair, and either not replace the trees, or replant with shrubs.

Large, healthy trees can be successfully incorporated into suburban sidewalks and verges, with correct design and root management systems. Furthermore- large healthy trees can also be a functioning part of an integrated, sustainable, storm water harvesting system. Citygreen® has experience and systems available to assist with this.