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Drainage and Roots Can Wreak Havoc on Stone Walkways

In this Washington Post Home & Garden Q&A, Ruth Williams of Davey Resource Group talks about how soil around tree roots can help absorb water near sidewalks.

Posted: Sept. 14, 2020

Q: The stone walkway at the side and back of my home is several years past hazardous. The pavers are no longer flat, caused in part by elderly tree roots. At the side of my house, the pavers are sturdier, but they also need to be made secure. Drainage issues appear to contribute to the overall issue. I'm in need of a solution from a landscaper, and it needs to result in a pathway that's safe.

A: You have a choice of solutions, ranging from a relatively inexpensive, do-it-yourself path that will probably require regular, ongoing maintenance to a considerably more expensive, professionally installed option that should just need simple upkeep, such as keeping the path free of slippery moss.

Whatever the solution, though, be sure to address the drainage issue and a safe way to navigate the change in elevation where your lot slopes. Your new path also needs to take the tree roots into account.

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