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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 37, Issue 2 — March 2011

Root Growth Response of Platanus orientalis to Porous Pavements    (View PDF)

Justin Morgenroth

Abstract: An experiment was established to determine the effect of porous pavement on underlying root growth. An augmented factorial arrangementof pavement profile designs and pavement types was installed and fifty Platanus orientalis seedlings were evenly distributed to control plots or one of four treatments. Treated plots were characterized by either porous or impervious pavement pads measuring 2.3 m 2.3 m, and underlain by either fine sandy loam or a gravel base and compacted subgrade, reflecting two pavement profile designs. Following two growing seasons, root abundance was categorized by diameter and depth. Results suggest root abundance is greater, especially at shallow soil depths, under pavements. Pavements designed with a compacted subgrade and gravel base only exacerbated shallow root growth, though they could decrease total root abundance. Finally, porous and impervious pavements affected root abundance and distribution in similar ways, dismissing the use of porous pavements to promote deeper rooting.

Keywords: Abundance; Biomass; Diameter; Distribution; Oriental Plan; Permeable; Pervious; Road; Sidewalk; Soil Compaction; Street Tree

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