The Root Zone calculator app

What is it?

A tool to work out where tree roots are

What it does

Site developments around trees can be a risky business, and trees all too often get damaged when roots are unearthed during excavations. To prevent this from happening, there exists around the world a range of methods available to estimate how far from a tree trunk the roots are expected to be. These are based on current best practice as well as modern science. This tool consolidates all of those methods into a single app, and allows the user to quickly calculate a range of possible root zone projections, to meet local tree preservation requirements and to make informed decisions about tree protection.

How it works

Trunk diameter has been shown to be the most reliable predictor of root system spread, and is used to prescribe tree protection zone radii in many of the well-known best practice documents that relate to tree preservation. Using the available algorithms from peer-reviewed science, the root zone calculator will calculate a structural root zone radius, the maximum extent of lateral root spread and a tree protection zone, all from a trunk diameter (DBH) measurement.

What it doesn't do

The root zone calculator was designed to make estimations about where tree roots are likely to be, it is not a definitive prediction of actual root spread. Urban environments involving structures and hard surfacing can affect natural root anatomy, and so there could be differences between the results produced by the app, and what is actually happening underground when these sorts of features are present.