GEO-Fabrics-COL-Logo-155x45.png (1)

Root barriers

Urban planning policies are designed to encourage the inclusion of green spaces and features within hardscapes and developments. Requirements such as Biodiversity Net Gain and Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs) mean green infrastructure is an ever more important part of modern urban planning. Managing the root systems and vegetation effectively makes a big difference to the maintenance regime on such schemes.

Protecting Infrastructure

Green infrastructure provides a wide range of benefits contributing to flood resilience, pollution and noise reduction, providing wildlife habitat and promoting healthier communities. The design of green infrastructure is important, as integrating nature into urban landscapes brings with it a dilemma. The need for plants to grow roots through fertile soils to access nutrients and water to flourish has to be balanced against the need for roads, pavements and structures. Managing this interaction successfully is the key to avoiding future repair and maintenance costs of structures and pavements damaged by roots.

Root barriers are typically used to protect structures and hardscapes from direct or indirect damage by roots. Infrastructure below ground including utilities and pipework can also be damaged  or compromised by roots, leading to leaks, blockages and costly repairs. Pavement heave, also known as root heave, is the upward displacement and damage of pavement caused by the radial growth of superficial tree roots. GEOfabrics CuTex is a proven way to control roots in urban environment.

Invasive Species

Invasive species, such as Japanese Knotweed, can be particularly problematic and subject to legislation. Japanese Knotweed is often found on brownfield developments, railways and roadsides, and while having the plant on your land is not illegal failing to prevent the spread can attract substantial penalties. Invasive species include those listed Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and include Bamboo, Field Horsetail and Rhododendron. Root barriers can form a key part of a management strategy to control and contain the spread of such species. Research by the University of Leeds has shown CuTex to be an effective barrier to these species.

Root barriers may be used autonomously or alongside a physical treatment such as excavation & removal, sifting or herbicide such Glysophate. The type of barrier selected should be based upon site conditions, local hydrology and the species.

Related Downloads

View linked downloads

Case Studies

Invasive Plants – CuTex as Vertical Root Barrier

Published Papers

Root Barriers Comparison Report

Discover how GEOfabrics can help you
Contact us for more information and assistance.

View Related

View products related to this sector

Case Studies

Rivenhall Integrated Waste Management Facility Slope Drainage – GPT Drainage Geocomposite

Culemborg Geldermalson Rail Inspection Pad – RK12 Drainage Geocomposite

Geotextiles for Coastal Protection – HPS14C Case Study

GEOfabrics HPS14C has been successfully installed below the rock armour at Withernsea. Nearly 70,000 t...

Urban Greening Project – Rome

Municipio Roma VII is the most heavily populated Municipio in the Italian Capital with more than 300,0...

Residential Root Protection – CuTex Case Study

As part of a wider contract PBA Solutions were responsible for the design and installation of a tree r...

Old Colwyn Case Study – HPS17C Coastal Protection

Geofabrics HPS17C has been successfully installed below the rock armour on Old Colwyn Promenade Coasta...

View our Technical Hub

Industry News

ISO 14001 & 9001 Certification

GEOfabrics certified to ISO9001 and ISO14001

Flood and Coast Telford

Future Landscape and Playspaces 2023

Recent Tech Papers

Root Barriers Comparison Report

Geocomposite to Prevent Pumping Failure

CuTex Root Barrier Effectiveness Report

Development of Geocomposite to Prevent Mud Pumping

Geocomposite Material In Landfill Containment

Geosynthetics in Coastal Engineering Protection

Difficulties with Unit Weight

Designing with the Cylinder Test

Recent Downloads

Culemborg Geldermaston Inspection Pads Rail

Case Studies

Rivenhall Integrated Waste Management Facility Slope Drainage – GPT Drainage Geocomposite

Installation Guides & Certificates

ISO 14001 & 9001 Certificate

Design Information

LFX Stone Selector Guidance

Design Information

Cylinder testing geomembranes and their protective materials: LFE2

TrackTex Anti-Pumping Geocomposite

TrackTex G Dual DoP No112-2022-02-21

Design Information

Introduction to Geosynthetics

Rail Rig Laboratory Test

Other Sectors

GEOfabrics cover a wide range of sectors.

Root barriers


The construction industry is under ever increasing legislative and commercial pressure which require innovative appro...

General Civils

The use of geosynthetics in civil engineering applications has continued to grow exponentially over the last two deca...


The design of an engineered waste containment system is considered a continuous project, including all operational ac...

Coastal & River Defence

Marine erosion can occur when the sea is energised by wind and gravity to produce waves, tides, and currents: it is c...


Geosynthetics have been employed to perform a number of functions in track construction and rehabilitation for almost...
Discover how GEOfabrics can help you today
Contact us for more information and assistance.