Ex-ground trees planted alongside a pedestrian promenade in Maroochydore on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast are being supported by underground RootCells to ensure room for the growing roots and protect the path surface from root intrusion.

The landscape upgrade project involves a pedestrian promenade opposite the M1 Resort apartments on Cornmeal Creek, with 2.5m high Poincianas planted at pedestrian seating nodes with lighting, seating and other street furniture.

RootCells from Arborgreen Landscape Products provide cellular load-bearing modules that are filled with quality, uncompacted soil for healthy root growth. They permit the tree root systems to utilise the area under the adjacent pavement without lifting or breaking up the surface.

There is a great deal of interest from Councils in the Arborgreen system. This is the first time the Sunshine Coast Council has specified these products.

The footpath adjacent to the trees has a compacted subgrade. It is therefore difficult for the roots to expand. RootCells provide additional growing space, so that the trees have an opportunity to flourish.

This is a constant problem when a tree is planted in a street environment. The trees are stunted, or else they damage the footpath and other infrastructure such as water pipes in their search for water and nutrition.

RootCells employ root deflectors that force the tree roots to grow downwards and into the root cell structure. When combined with aeration devices, such as a perforated pipe throughout the root cells, the roots can receive both water and aeration.

RootCells have now been specified by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council for the town of Nambour, inland from Maroochydore.

Arborgreen’s RootCells are modular and can be stacked in the excavation to provide a generous layer of available root zone, relevant to the type and size of the tree. The cells are made from recycled material with extremely high structural integrity.