The Use of Cellular Confinement Systems Near Trees sets out the background, concepts and relevance of cellular confinement systems. It describes how to plan and prepare appropriate systems for a wide range of different applications. In addition it provides detailed technical advice and specification for implementing systems using a range of available surface treatments. It also includes detail on the arboricultural impact from the use of geocells and the limitations on their use.
The use of cellular confinement systems has increased over the last 20 years and the understanding of its effects and efficacy has also grown. This Guidance Note 12 provides much needed technical direction for the arboricultural sector working alongside other professionals in development and construction. To date, much practice regarding the installation of hard surfaces incorporating ground protection near to existing trees has been based upon an Arboricultural Practice Note (APN) 12: Through the Trees to Development, by Derek Patch and Ben Holding, which was published in 2007 by the Tree Advice Trust. APN 12 set out the principles of ‘no dig’ construction for hard surfaces, highlighting the impacts of excavation and compaction on tree roots and their soil environment. Since then, research, technological advances and numerous studies of different materials and techniques have been explored, a revised edition of the British Standard BS5837 has been published and many architects and development and construction companies are recognising the benefits of using cellular confinement systems in this context. Indeed, as planning policy evolves it is becoming more and more relevant to consider these systems in order to meet the expected multiple demands of housing and commercial development density, while maintaining the maximum green infrastructure for societal benefit.