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By January 22, 2020January 23rd, 2020NEWS


We are well into tree planting season and TCS Geotechnics provide products for all your tree planting needs. According to the The Royal Horticultural Society the optimum time period for planting trees spans from October to April.

So why do professional landscapers plant in the coldest months of the year?

During the coldest months of the year it is usually the easiest time to dig the ground, also the trees and shrubs planted are dormant and so require minimal maintenance. In the coldest months of the year, you can purchase root-balled plants which are lifted straight from the ground and available to purchase without pots. These root balled plants have a solid soil ball at the base and this is prepared ready for planting fairly soon after delivery. Root balled trees and shrubs are often a more cost-effective option than plants which are containerised but they can only be purchased when the weather is cold. Once the weather warms up the rootball dries out too quickly unless planted in ground. Trees and shrubs planted in the colder months of the year, having had the opportunity to adjust to their new environment whilst dormant, benefit from the optimum growing conditions provided by the spring and early summer months.

The RHS says that ‘’weeds, lawns and other vegetation intercept water before it reaches the roots of newly planted trees and shrubs. Keep a vegetation-free circle at least 1.2m (4ft) in diameter around the plant for its first three years to help avoid this problem.’’

TCS can offer root and weed barriers to prevent the weeds getting through.
Dupont Plantex logo

TCS offer a range of weed barriers for long-lasting, highly effective and chemical-free weed control.

DuPont™ Plantex Platinium is resistant to the most aggressive weeds. Whether its Japanese knotweed, couch grass, reed, giant reed, giant hogweed, marestail, horsetail, bamboo or Himalayan balsam, Plantex® Platinium will deliver the resistance required.  Following numerous test by DuPont’s R&D team over several years in natural environments, no perforation or regrowth through the fabric has been observed. Once correctly installed on an area contaminated by invasive plants, Plantex® Platinium does not require any maintenance, unlike alternative solutions like periodic chemical treatment or physical removal.

While providing an effective barrier against invasive plants, Plantex® Platinium crucially remains permeable to air and water.  This permeability prevents perched and puddled water and associated issues, as can occur readily with an impermeable membrane system.  The water and air permeability is ecologically sympathetic to the natural balance of the soil by maintaining its biodiversity. Moisture will be able to evaporate naturally through the Plantex® Platinium thus preventing condensation under the fabric which can lead to mold and degradation of the soil. Furthermore, the soil temperature will not be affected (less greenhouse effect).

DuPont™ Plantex® Gold is an aesthetically appealing bi-coloured, non-woven Polypropylene weed control barrier, for effective weed control even against tough weeds such as couch grass, horsetail and bindweed. This brown and black fabric allows air, water and nutrients to pass through and thereby lets the soil and plant roots breathe while keeping the weeds at bay. Plantex® Gold is ideal for application on slopes where it can be used covered as well as uncovered. The brown/gold colouring gives the fabric a more natural look.

Terram WeedGuard is proven for suppressing weeds in landscaping and garden applications without the need for chemicals. This geotextile is designed to allow the passage of water, oxygen and nutrients while blocking weeds. Terram Weedguard is installed at the interface between soil and a decorative layer such as bark chippings, stone chippings, pebbles or gravel.

  • Weed control fabric which avoids the use of chemicals
  • Lightweight and simple to install
  • Maintenance free and resistant to microbiological and chemical attack
  • Ideal for landscaping, garden beds and beneath decking.
Dupont Plantex logo

DuPont™ Plantex® RootBarrier (Impermeable) is a coated non-woven impermeable membrane, ideal for preventing invasive growth and damage by aggressive plant roots, e.g. bamboo. By resisting the penetration of aggressive rooting plants and trees, Plantex® RootBarrier protects underground drainage, sewage, piping and cable systems, patios, paved areas, asphalted surfaces as well as buildings and utility channels from root invasion and damage. This strong and robust, spun-based material will contain invasive root growth without damaging the plants or harming the surrounding materials. Easy to use, Plantex® RootBarrier requires little preparation and once installed can be left maintenance free for many years.

DuPont™ Plantex® RootProtector (Permeable) is an air and water permeable non-woven root barrier. The water permeability of our membrane ensures a free flow of water in the soil avoiding trapped water, hydrostatic pressure issues & poor load resistance in wet areas which can so often be an issue with impermeable membranes.  Improved water, air & nutrients supply, compared with impermeable barriers, allows for a harmonious development of all root system architecture.  Allowing efficient drainage helps maintain the stability of foundations, structures, slopes, earthworks and infrastructure.

TERRAM ROOTGUARD (PERMEABLE) and ROOTGUARD PLUS (IMPERMEABLE) are used to protect buildings, walls, paths, drainage pipes, cables and lawns from potential damage caused by root development. Tree roots grow very close to the surface and are the cause of considerable damage. Structures with shallow foundations can be undermined. Damaged pipes, or pipes with faulty joints, can become blocked by roots. Root growth is also known to cause desiccation of soils to the extent that soil structures may subside and crack, and in these circumstances expensive underpinning may be the only solution.

Rootguard – Permeable edition in some instances it may be necessary to have a water-permeable solution e.g. surrounding land drains.  ROOTGUARD is a geotextile manufactured from polypropylene/polyethylene fibres. It provides excellent resistance to root development; confirmed in numerous trials and commercial projects. ROOTGUARD has high tensile strength, high puncture resistance and is capable of whithstanding the differential forces that can develop in clay soils.

Rootguard PLUS: Non-woven geotextile extrusion coated with high density polyethylene. Research has demonstrated that high-density polyethylene (HDPE) can withstand penetration by even the most vigorous of tree roots.


Once your tree is planted and you have installed your root or weed barrier, TCS offer various systems to use above the ground for the perfect finish, whilst protecting the tree and leaving room for it to grow.

TCS Techcell For Tree Root Protection
An increase in urbanisation combined with the need to preserve flora has led to a rise in development in areas where the continued health of mature trees must be assured within the close vicinity of buildings and associated infrastructure. The preservation of these trees is generally ensured via Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

What Is A Tree Root Preservation Order (TPO)?
A Tree Preservation Order is a legal instrument put in place by a local planning authority in the United Kingdom to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. An order prohibits the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees without the local planning, authority’s written consent. If consent is given, it can be subject to conditions which have to be followed.

Inhibiting Root Damage
Of particular note is the fact that cutting or otherwise damaging roots via excavation around them is also a restricted activity under TPOs.  However actual cutting of the tree roots is not required for the tree to suffer the ill effects of construction.  As many tree roots are found within the first metre of soil,  trees see a decline in health when the areas surrounding the trees are not protected from trafficking by vehicles and plant. The trafficking not only crushes the roots but also compacts the soil around and above them reducing the permeability to water, air and also restricting the activity of burrowing insects and other fauna, which normally maintain a nutrient-rich healthy soil structure.

No Dig Solution
As a consequence of all of the above, so-called ‘no dig’ solutions are sought which provide a stabilised raft or stiffened layer above the root zone capable of spreading the load of trafficking vehicles and inhibiting the effects on the soil and roots below.  TCS’s Techcell cellular confinement system offers just such a solution. When filled with a 4mm – 20mm or 20mm – 40mm clean angular gravel, Techcell creates a permeable stable surface which distributes the loads imposed by vehicular traffic whilst allowing water, air, and nutrients to reach the tree roots preserving the health of the tree.

The British Standards Institute BS 5837:2012 provides recommendations relating to tree care, with a view to achieving a harmonious and sustainable relationship between new construction/existing structures and their surrounding trees. Techcell not only complies with BS 5837:2012 but also with Arboriculture practice note 12 (APN12).


If the final road surface requires a more formal permeable finish, this could be provided above the Techcell via permeable block paving, porous asphalt or polymer paviours such as Techpave R, Bodpave 85 or TCS Gravel Fix Pro, which can be filled with gravel or seeded soil to provide a green finish.

TCS Gravel Fix® Pro is an advanced recyclable stabilisation system for gravel, shells, mulch and sand. With its hexagonal honeycomb-like structure of high quality Polypropylene cells, TCS Gravel Fix® Pro is designed to provide a strong and stable sub-base for the professional application of gravel on paths, driveways, car parks and roofs.

DuPont™ Typar® geotextile is fitted on the bottom of the paviour for maximum porosity and weed growth reduction.

Techpave R is an interlocking polymer paving systems designed to locally stabilise grass or gravel surfaces. Techpave is suitable for applications such as car parks, driveways, cycle paths, footpaths, access roads and recreational areas.

Bodpave® 85 grass pavers / paving grids are a strong interlocking 100% recycled cellular porous plastic paving grid system for grass reinforcement, ground stabilisation & gravel retention for regular trafficked surfaces (pedestrian and vehicles). Bodpave® 85 porous pavers can be installed with either a grass or gravel filled surface.

The open cell structure provides high surface water infiltration and is suitable for source control within a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS). The unique design of the Bodpave® 85 units resist lateral movement, improves traction and allows expansion & contraction whilst promoting optimum grass growth, root protection and surface stabilisation.