The importance of choosing the tree grate


Today, in Gardenprue, we are going to talk about an element of gardening that few people give importance to but, in its measure, conditions the development of the tree and the surrounding elements.

We can see many types depending on the city where we are. We are going to tell you something about them that you may not have known. We are talking about the tree grate .

There are types of tree pits that are aesthetically very well defined.

Others, like the one in the main photo, is simply a cut in the urban pavement, which, as can be seen, ends with the breakage of the slabs and represents a fall hazard for many people.

Increasingly, in the urban regulations of each city, it is possible to see how the type and arrangement that the tree grate must carry is specified, regardless of where it is. M

Many times, they do not care about the characteristics of the materials, but more and more it is required that the tree grate be at the same height as the pavement. This avoids the danger of trips and falls, since, sometimes, the tree grate represents 50% or more of the width of the sidewalk.


One of the main errors that usually appear when designing a road with tree pits is the poor planning that is done when placing the plant species.

The tree is taken into account when it is installed (perhaps a throne perimeter of 20 cm at most) but it is not considered how tall the tree will be in 5-10 years. That is why common problems such as those in this image usually arise :

As you can see the image, the break covers several square meters, destroys the slab attached to the trunk and lifts and cracks the surrounding ones. The visual effect is terrible and it is also a danger for pedestrians and an obstacle for people with reduced mobility. It is not planned that, in this case, the tree has a superficial root development.

For example, look at the following news here.


An essential element to take into account is the irrigation that the tree will carry in the tree pits. It can be either a linear dripper line or a ring of integrated drippers (or not). With the first system, a homogeneous irrigation of the entire root surface is not achieved, but hey, in reality it does not influence much either (it is an ornamental tree, not productive).

In the second case, dripper ring irrigation , better results are achieved, since the wetting surface is homogeneous. Another type of irrigation can also be the exuding pipe , to which every day it offers more possibilities.

In any case, any mistake is paid for by lifting it completely off the ground.

Personally, we like those that show the surface of the land where the tree is grown, although these have the disadvantage that they get flooded with rain and can cause root rot .

This tree grate allows the entry of water and the exit of air, so that oxygenation, as long as the ground is soft, is guaranteed.

This will help improve drainage and avoid oxygen starvation conditions within the substrate. On the other hand, it is easy for dirt to accumulate in it and, over time, the louvers to get stuck.

On the other hand, the padded flooring also attracts our attention, due to its comfort . They are aesthetically attractive, they accumulate moisture inside the earth, they do not get flooded in the event of rains, and they do not cause possible falls or trips. An example would be this:

Depending on the type of padding, the tree grate will guarantee a natural thickening of the trunk, without limitations.

In other cases, the use of asphalt materials, cement or concrete limits the development of the crop and causes prominent deformations.

They can be seen in many cities as said pavement or artificial tree grate is overrun and cracked due to the development of superficial roots in crops such as banana plantations.

In summary. Tree pits there are many. Those that are being incorporated the most to the cities are these last draining and padded pavements. They can be arranged in different colors and with drawings, they do not pose an obstacle to pedestrians , they do not get puddled and they keep moisture very well, as if it were a natural padding .


One of the current alternatives for tree pits that are used in modern cities are those whose hole adapts to the different diameters that the foot of the tree can reach.

For this, elements such as gravel, boulders or another type of material that adapts to the holes left by the tree are usually used, so that when it adds thickness, it naturally displaces the edges or stones.

One of the solutions currently being considered in tree pits is to avoid the accumulation of dirt, herbs, water and other residues.

For this, all the solutions mentioned that avoid leaving a gap between the trunk and the tree grate are effective.


Who chooses what kind of trees and plantations a particular street or avenue should carry?

This type of question that more than one citizen has asked should go through an exhaustive test that assesses a large number of conditions.

We are used, for example, to see avenues with a multitude of tall orange trees that fall to the ground during production and ripening, dirty the pavement and can cause accidents due to slippery floors.

Faced with this type of situation, it is required to adapt the street conditions to these problems, taking into account the following characteristics:

  • Minimum distance between trees, taking into account their future adult state.
  • Distance from the façade, street furniture, electrical cables, etc., taking into account the maximum altitude attainable by the crop.
  • Hole volume of the plantation and choice of tree pits.
  • Selection of species adaptable to polluted environments, without the risk of falling leaves that stain sidewalks or cause slipping.

This tree grate , common to many Andalusian and Mediterranean cities, where tall orange trees are used, have a serious drainage and waterlogging problem.

In the same way, it represents a danger for the citizen, dry or with water, against falls and trips.

The usual solution would be to introduce a layer of sand, earth and a draining material on top.


Urban trees are subjected to a multitude of inclement weather.

If it is already a high punishment to bear the levels of pollution and dust on its leaves, soil compaction is a very serious problem when it comes to producing new roots and replacing the old ones.

Covering the tree grate with materials (tree grate) such as grates, gravel or a layer of sand, reduces the compaction of the earth, because it does not tend to tread on it and with this we will have a softer soil.

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