A new method for containing shade tree roots is being considered for use in planting trees in Lititz Borough, Pennsylvania. The new method is called the StrataCell and was developed in Australia by Citygreen in 2009. The StrataCell is a plastic interlocking device that is intended to keep roots from spreading outward and lifting sidewalks, roads, and driveways. Their Shade Tree Commission presented the borough council with this idea. During the presentation, the borough was told that a Citygreen representative would be willing to come to Lititz to help with installation of the interlocking devices for a pilot program. The only concern is that the cost of installation is unknown.
There is one home in the borough that has already decided to use the StrataCell in a pilot program. Residents will be able to see the new device in use, where it is being used to plant a shade tree near the sidewalk. Engineers have calculated that this device will support pedestrian and pavement traffic loads while providing more space for the extensive root growth of large canopy trees. This device has two tiers that lock together and form a framework that offers vertical and lateral strength.
So far, few municipalities have started using this device. “Mostly it is being used by developers. But I see uses for programs like our Shade Tree Commission.” Said George Biemesderfer. “It’s not cheap, but it’s a good alternative.”