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GEOPHYSICAL
ENGINEERING

Tree Roots

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Left : 3D image from data collected by SUMO's high density multi-channel GPR. It shows the exact location of the tree roots at 0.2m depth.

The protection and preservation of trees has become a significant issue for many development projects in recent years and can create significant planning, design and construction problems. Furthermore, whilst identifying and protecting the canopy of a tree is a relatively simple matter (you can see it!), identifying the underground root protection area (which often extends beyond the canopy) is a much more complicated issue. 

Historically, the radius of the root protection area has been estimated by measuring the diameter of a tree at a height of 1.5m above ground and multiplying this figure by a factor of 12. Thus, a 1m diameter tree would have a circular root protection area around it with a radius of 12m. However, this can often lead to large areas of a site being protected when in actual fact there are no tree roots present.

 

SUMO can complete a high-density ground penetrating radar survey, over the area surrounding the tree to not only identify the tree root distribution pattern, but the depth of the roots.

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Above : SUMO created the above 2D CAD image from data collected by SUMO's high-density multi-channel GPR. Note the diameter of the tree, the extent of the canopy and the irregular distribution pattern of the tree roots.

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