Trees with superficial roots that grow along the surface pose an additional risk to sidewalks and driveways. Homes, sidewalks and driveways are also in danger of becoming puckered or … Concrete lifting, otherwise known as slabjacking, may offer a more cost-effective and convenient solution. Note: Property owners remain liable for sidewalk damage caused by street trees if the damage existed prior to July 1, 2017. Are Your Sidewalks Safe? The optimal tree to plant on the edge of a property line to prevent trees from damaging the sidewalk is slow-growing trees. Sometimes that causes trees to prod underground structures, like water tanks and sewer lines. The success of root pruning depends on the species, size, and age of the tree, the location of the cuts, environmental conditions, and the overall health of the tree. SFGate.com cites that in a 2011 survey by the University of Michigan Extension, tree root damage to sidewalks costs an average of $3 per tree per year to repair, and sewer damage costs $1.66 per tree more. Placement. Where you plant your trees is an important consideration because tree roots can damage concrete walkways, walls, septic tanks and swimming pools. Seattle, in fact, has formalized a process under its Trees and Sidewalks Operations Plan (approved in 2015) in which both an arborist and an engineer perform a joint field review of tree and sidewalk conflicts that need to be addressed and make initial recommendations for repairs. The space is likely owned by the city and it is their (that is: the taxpayers') sidewalks, curbs, and infra that will heave & form a trip hazard; therefore the tree species is up to them. Some trees—such as Bradford … Small trees should be a minimum of 10 feet from structures while large trees must be at least 30 feet from them. It is important to have appropriate trees for the treelawn width - inadequate or no - to avoid unnecessary damage and expense. As a part of StreetTreeSF, the City is repairing sidewalks with severe damage and walkways in heavily traveled corridors to reduce tripping hazards. Root pruning is highly stressful to trees and cannot be done indiscriminately. Trees with Roots that Don’t Spread (By Zone) Tree roots want all the water they can get! A number of these trees have noninvasive roots that … From evergreens to trees with showy flowers or bright fall color, you have lots of options when choosing fast-growing shade trees. Tree root sidewalk damage makes a mess of concrete and creates major trip hazards. But when encroaching tree roots start to make your sidewalk buckle or sink, ripping it out and re-pouring it isn’t your only option. Trees That Can Be Planted Over Water Pipes. 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