Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been used in the UK to map tree root location since 2006 and experience has been gained on what it will do and what it is not so good at. When the alternatives are considered, you sometimes realise what the dark ages were like!
Tree roots often grow asymmetrically away from a tree; roots are opportunistic and their longitudinal growth and proliferation are highly dependent on soil environmental conditions. If a suitable mix of nutrients, air and water exist roots will grow; if not they will grow much more slowly and possibly not at all. Such conditions at any one location may change over time. Roots will die in one area and may grow at another - thus a moving target may be an appropriate analogy.
GPR will not map all roots - it will only pick up the larger roots (above 0.5 cm diameter)- with the precise size mapped dependent on the radar antenna used.
For more information contact:
Tree Radar is a service provided by Duramen Consulting Ltd. See www.duramen.co.uk for more details.
Contact Dr Jon Heuch tel 0800 311 8133 or firstname.lastname@example.org