Help for Urban Trees – Rubber


Remember our recent discussion here of the terrible predicament that our city trees find themselves in?  Well, according to today’s Washington Post, rubber sidewalks may be the answer to their woes.

Concrete suffocates tree roots, which then grow upward to fight for air and water.  The roots break the concrete, which trips the pedestrians, who sue the city.  Rubber sidewalk panels have quarter-inch spaces between them that let air and water through, so tree roots grow downward like they should.

The walkways are made of ground recycled tires molded into squares; one old car tire can make one square-foot of bouncy pavement.  They can be cut and molded around truncks and roots, and if crews need to get anything beneath, they just lift the sidewalk.

Apparently rubber sidewalks are being tested in 10 states and if you prefer your sidewalks in a "snappy red," there’s a Wal-Mart in Texas with a sidewalk you’ll adore.


  1. I hope the tests prove to be successful and that the sidewalks will be economically feasible. It sounds like a win-win-win kind of scenario: old tires get recycled, the urban trees are happier and I’m willing to bet they’d be a lot easier on the feet too!

    Thumbs up to whoever had the idea to begin with!

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