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Guide to Purchasing Tree Grates

Guide to purchasing tree grates

Tree grates promote a thriving, natural area by encouraging and protecting tree growth while keeping pedestrians safe and comfortable. They are present in many public spaces because they are the best way to balance convenience and accessibility without sacrificing the beauty and benefits that trees provide.

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Importance of Tree Grates & Guards for Parks

Trees are an important part of any public gathering space because they:

  • Provide shaded areas
  • Muffle noise pollution
  • Reduce the effect of strong winds
  • Add visual interest
  • Provide a home for wildlife
  • Capture stormwater runoff
  • Encourage biodiversity
  • Promote cleaner air

Despite their many benefits, some trees can be hazardous or cause costly damage to sidewalks or roads as their roots spread. Other trees may struggle to grow in more urban environments. The soil can become compacted easily, and nearby hot pavement forces moisture to evaporate before the roots have a chance to hydrate. You can mitigate these issues and incorporate trees into your designs when you utilize tree grates.

Benefits of Purchasing a Tree Grate for Your Park or Community Center

Tree grates are flat grates you can install around trees to protect and maintain the root system. They have narrow slits that allow aeration and sunlight to filter through but keep tree roots from spreading and becoming obtrusive. These slits also prevent the soil from becoming compacted. Tree grate installation is ideal for any place that attracts a lot of visitors — including public parks, playgrounds, community centers, streets and downtown areas.

Tree grilles and grates are a good investment for public spaces because:

  • They protect tree roots: When people walk or drive over the dirt around trees, it becomes compressed. Once compressed, it’s difficult for nutrients, sunlight, oxygen and moisture to reach the tree’s root system. This can stunt tree growth and even cause malnutrition. Tree grates protect trees by limiting weed growth and keeping the soil safe from this compaction.
  • They help trees retain moisture: Tree grates help the ground retain water for longer, allowing plenty of time for the roots to absorb the moisture they need.
  • They are visually appealing: Tree grates are protective and practical, but they’re also visually appealing. You can purchase decorative tree grates in different designs that fit the aesthetic of your park, community center or urban sidewalk. They are designed to allow moisture and sunlight to pass through to the tree roots, but the holes in the grate are too narrow for most litter and debris to collect. This helps to promote a cleaner area. Grates also keep trees healthy and beautiful.
  • They promote a safer area: Tree grates help keep root systems contained, which means pedestrians and visitors can enjoy all the benefits of a tree-covered area without worrying about tripping over their roots. This also frees up more room in your public space to build or expand other structures, like sidewalks, playgrounds, seating areas or parking lots.

You can also pair a tree grate with a tree guard — a type of standing structure you place around the trunk to keep it safe from wildlife, scalding and trunk splitting.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Tree Grate

Things to consider when purchasing a tree grate

To choose the best tree grate for your park or community center, consider the material the grate is made out of, as well as its appearance and size.

1. Material

Because they are constantly outdoors, tree grates must be constructed out of weather-resistant materials that will not fade, warp or rust as time goes on. They also must stand up to foot and vehicle traffic, if applicable. You can find tree grates in a variety of materials, including steel, cast iron and plastic:

  • Steel: Steel is a strong metal that does not rust or corrode over time and can be powder-coated or dipped in colored Plastisol. Finished steel does not fade or discolor.
  • Cast iron: Cast iron is a durable form of tree grate material that is heavier than steel. Although initially black or charcoal gray, cast iron might develop a brown or red-tinted patina as it oxidizes.
  • Plastic: Some tree grates are made out of recycled plastic. This is a lightweight and eco-friendly option, however, these grates are usually not as long-lasting as metal alternatives.

Tree grates are also coated in different materials like powder coating and Plastisol, a type of durable liquid polymer. These coatings add another layer of protection to the tree grate and give it a distinct color.

2. Appearance

Tree grates are an easy way to add style and visual appeal to your public space. They come in different colors, designs and shapes, so you can choose the grates that best complement your surroundings. They are either square or round, so you can configure the grates to fit your specific space.

Beyond appearance, there is no difference in function between a square and round grate. You can find tree grates in many colors, but most are black. This is because black fits in with many different color palettes and retains a clean appearance, even when dirty. Depending on the grate, you can choose from subtle or intricate designs.

3. Size

Consider the size of the tree grate

To find the right size grate for your tree, use a flexible measuring tape to measure the diameter of the trunk and base. Make sure you choose a grate with some extra space surrounding the trunk, so the grate is not digging into the bark. Tree grate sizing ranges in diameter, but some of the most common options are:

  • 36 inches
  • 48 inches
  • 60 inches
  • 72 inches

Some tree grates are adjustable, so as the tree gets bigger, you can widen the grate. When choosing a tree grate, make sure you find one available in two sections so you can easily place it around an existing tree. Two-section grates are also easy to remove and replace, if necessary.

Find Tree Grates for Your Project at Bramsford Site Furnishings

Tree grates from Bramsford Site Furnishings are made from long-lasting, slip-resistant steel and coated in a timeless matte black Plastisol finish. All our grates come in two separate sections and have a 16-inch tree well for easier installation. Choose from a round or square grate and pair it with an optional installation frame or tree guard for even more protection.

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