A Simple Guide: Root Barrier Systems

Bamboo | 17th April 2020

Our simple guide to containing or blocking roots

If you need to contain or block roots from any plant, then a root barrier system can be designed and installed. Such systems are commonly used to prevent the encroachment of Japanese knotweed into a neighbouring property or to block tree roots from conflicting with structures, and surfaces.

Root Barrier Systems


Types of root barrier material

There are many types of root barrier membrane most are made from some form of plastic. In their most basic form, they range from sheets of Low-Density Polypropylene through to flexible plastic sheeting that’s reminiscent to tarpaulin.

So how do you know what to use? Well, we think any reputable manufacturer should be able to provide a declaration of performance, so you know the product is designed and manufactured to specific standards. Furthermore, a reputable manufacturer should have completed research and development to ensure that the product has been scientifically tested to block the most invasive plant species.

OUR ADVICE: Don’t just take marketing literature for granted our investigations show that many so-called “Root Barriers” are nothing more than a rebranded tarpaulin with little or no R&D behind them.

At PBA Solutions, we distribute CuTex Root barrier Systems. CuTex is a specialist geocomposite root barrier that contains a micro-perforated copper foil layer sandwiched between to non-woven geotextiles. The result is a root barrier that is permeable, allowing water movement to pass through it, making it much more versatile than a non-woven barrier. What’s more, CuTex Cooper Root barrier comes with a declaration of performance and has been scientifically tested to be effective in blocking the number one invasive weed in the UK; Japanese knotweed. To our knowledge, no other root barrier or geotextile has been tested in this way.

Types of root barrier systems:

To best understand how root barrier systems can be used, we thought that it would be useful to list the common types of root barrier products that PBA Solutions produce:

Simple sheet format installed vertically or in the case of CuTex horizontally below ground. This is normally purchased on roll format. Rolls are manufactured in widths of between 2 of 5 metres or more. It is always best to limit the number of joints and a root barrier sheet hence the availability of wide rolls.

Large sheet format, this is root barrier sheet that has been heat welded to form large sheets that don’t need any joining on site

Preformed root barrier, this is where we form root barrier sheet into a specific shape, normally for use in engineering situations. Such products may include “top hats” which is where we make a tubular root barrier that is has a flange extending 90 degrees at one end for use around drainage pipes.

Burial Cells, invasive species, including Japanese knotweed, can be buried within a root barrier cell. These cells are generally large, often the size of a swimming pool, and are either formed from sheets joined on-site or performed by us in our factory.

Tree root director, when planting new trees it is often desirable to direct roots downward away from pavements and utilities. At PBA Solutions, we sell a range of tree root director rings using CuTex Geocomposite Root Barrier. Since they are permeable, the director rings allow for the movement of water and nutrients for better root growth than conventional root barriers that are non-permeable.

Bamboo Troughs, As most people, know bamboo rhizomes can be rather invasive, but as a plant species they have so many other advantages and are often planted as part of landscape schemes. Our CuTex Troughs are permeable, which is crucial since even bamboo will struggle to grow in waterlogged soil.

Tree Troughs, similar to the bamboo troughs they are performed out of a single piece of CuTex root barrier, so they offer maximum protection. They are made bespoke at our factory since trees come in many different shapes and sizes and have many different purposes once planted.

Bespoke Engineering, it is quite normal for civil engineers to have specific and sometimes intricate root barrier system requirements. PBA routinely design, supply and install root barrier systems for highway, basement and subsidence projects.

Need expert advice?

Many of the above geocomposite root barrier products are available via our online shop www.rootbarrier.store.

Alternatively, if you have a project that may benefit from a root barrier system that utilises our specialist copper root barrier, please feel free to contact PBA Solutions.

Just call 0203 174 2187 or 01202 816134 to talk to one of our consultants.



Request callback

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.