Preservation Delaware had a very informative talk and walking tour in Old New Castle, Delaware yesterday. It's an especially appropriate place to discuss the way tree roots are reaching through walkways because the town not only has a large National Historic Register District of Historic Homes, but it has so many beautiful trees, and they line the brick walkways in town. This is a combination sure to keep both the town and the state (which owns the buildings on the Green) busy repairing walkways, as well as keeping local property owners busy.
Our local expert was Ken Darsney, a Horticulture Manager for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in Delaware. He has been in charge of the trees on the Green (in back of the Old Court House), and making changes to the brick walkways to accomodate the roots. He showed us a tree (center) which had totally destroyed the path on the right and was heading to do the same to the walk in front of it. They changed the direction of where the walk on the right connected to the lateral path, and moved the lateral path so that it circled around in front of the tree.
Another tree that required a lot of work was the copper beech on the right. The roots had become very compacted, so they used a device that shot air into the ground and broke up the compaction, but left the roots in place. They even discovered a stone Vietnam Vets memorial near the base of the tree and moved it several feet away from the trunk so that it again became visible. Boy, I'd like to get my hands on that air shooter device for my garden!
If you are interested in Historic Homes in Old New Castle, there are many available.