When Nature Gets In The Way: How Trees And Rocks Affect Your Driveway Paving

by Derrick Gordon

Despite your best efforts to remove large rocks and trees from around your driveway, they can still find a way back. They can cause a lot of damage to your driveway paving, requiring you to hire a contractor to do the work all over again. There are some preventive measures and some treatment measures you can take to keep your driveway smooth.

Tree Growth and Roots

Canadian trees grow like the wilderness around them. They are fast, tall, broad and set in roots that can damage any kind of concrete and asphalt your contractor puts down. The roots are the worst part because they grow at the surface level where they can crack the pavement in your driveway and loosen huge chunks of asphalt. To prevent this problem:

  • Remove any seedlings as soon as you see them developing into saplings
  • Do not plant your own trees within three meters of the edges of your driveway
  • Cut away roots that start to poke up out of the ground so that the tree has to send roots in a different direction

If you are installing a new driveway and there are full-grown and growing trees close by, consider shifting your entire driveway a meter in the opposite direction of these trees. Some people try to construct a concrete and asphalt driveway around the base of these trees, only to find that it was a bad idea and the driveway needs repaired a few years later.

"Glacial" Movements of Rock

During the typical winter in Canada, lots of rock underground shifts and moves upward toward the surface. Small pebbles and stones have little effect on a well-established driveway, but small boulders can crack your asphalt like a stick. Falling rock, like those that trickle down the Canadian Rockies, can make quite a mess of driveways closest to the feet of the mountains. To prevent this problem:

  • Ask your driveway paving contractor to dig a deeper path to help unearth any potential rock problems before constructing your driveway.
  • Remove any good-sized rocks or boulders that land on or near your driveway immediately

In the spring or fall, consider leveling your yard to a smooth flat surface. Roll the land drum away from the driveway because this will encourage unseen rocks to push away from it. Your yard will have a more even appearance, the driveway will be spared the annual underground rock movements caused by the freezing and thawing of the earth. Talk to experts like Curtis Paving for more information.