Sidewalk Shield is best used on new or young plantings. The shield can be utilized on young plantings if it can be installed without disrupting existing root growth. It is possible to use Sidewalk Shield on older plantings if it can be installed without cutting major roots.
Establishing a tree pit for new plantings.
Tree pits can be installed directly around the tree or comprise a larger green area. Surround pits are installed directly around the tree and enclose a single tree. Linear or continuous pits are longer pits design to contain multiple trees and a larger green space. Tree pits should be as large as possible to allow for ample growing space for tree roots and continuous tree pits are advantageous whenever possible.
Excavate entire area for a surround pit or perimeter for a continuous pit. Confirm subgrade is at the proper depth to allow the barrier to come to the top of the curb but to exceed curb or sidewalk height. Line the outside of the desired planting area for the tree with Sidewalk Shield. Angle the shield at a 10-degree position where the top of the barrier is closer to the tree and the bottom is further away. Replace soil in succeeding 6” layers compacting as you proceed.
Two most important aspects when installing Sidewalk Shield
1. Allowing proper spacing for tree health.
The drip line of a tree is the outermost area that water is capable of dripping off of the limbs. The Sidewalk Shield should be installed no less than half the distance of the mature drip line. For example, if the drip line of the tree is 10′ across, the Sidewalk Shield enclosure should be at least 5′ in diameter. Not all planting areas are circular, but Sidewalk Shield can accommodate by making a comparable growing area in rectangular or odd-shaped areas. The ultimate objective is controlling tree roots but allowing enough space for tree health.
2. Proper installation angle
The purpose of Sidewalk Shield is to direct the root growth downward instead of out along the surface where they can do harm to sidewalks, driveways, septic systems, etc. The material is positioned in a 10-degree downward slope. The top (portion closer to the soil surface) should be closer to the tree than the bottom. This creates a funnel to direct roots in a downward growth pattern.