Property Care Association Property Care Association

Root barriers for rhizome control

Root barriers are used to prevent the spread of roots/rhizomes etc. in the soil and are often specified as part of an invasive weed management strategy, especially for Japanese knotweed.

The objective of using a root barrier is to segregate land impacted by e.g. Japanese knotweed from that which is free of rhizome.  But a root barrier on its own will not normally provide a complete solution to knotweed control. Best practice suggests that a barrier can be used as part of a remediation strategy where the primary method of control (herbicides, excavations) significantly reduces the residual risks associated with the target species. 

Knotweed root barriers - Property Care Association

The different types of root barriers

There are various forms of root barrier.  Common products used include:

Flexible barrier

Reinforced polypropylene flexible sheet normally sold in roll form. A cost-effective barrier with a good tensile strength/elongation. Such material can be prone to puncturing from sharp objects. 

Barrier containing copper foil

Micro-perforated copper foil indicator layer sandwiched between layers of woven polypropylene geomembrane. A robust barrier in which the slow-release of copper has been shown to inhibit root growth. These barriers are permeable allowing moisture to pass between the segregated materials.


Low or high-density polypropylene of 1.0 mm gauge or greater which forms a durable non-woven barrier with good puncture resistance due to its thickness but lower tensile strength /elongation break. LDPE is easier to work with than an HDPE.

Further details regarding how and where these barriers may be used to provide flexible solutions to a variety of small and large projects is given in our Guidance Note Document.

Guidance Document Download

To find out more about root barriers for rhizome control, click on the link to download our guidance document.

You can also visit our document library to access various other documents regarding Invasive Weed Management. 

Visit our library >>

Videos you may be interested in

Want to learn more about Rhizome Barriers?

For those interested in learning more about Rhizome Barriers, there is a variety of PCA training options for surveying professionals as well as technical/trade professionals. 

Use the search tool below to find available Rhizome Barriers related training courses or simply go to our training & qualifications section.  Alternatively, if you want to chat to someone, contract our training team on 01480 400 000 or contact them online.

More about training >>

Contact us >>

Rhizome barriers - root control

If you are a professional looking to learn more on Rhizome barriers, click below for more info:

Find Out More >>

Professional Guidance

For those professionals looking for information, technical help and guidance towards and variety of property related problems, why not check out our 'professional guidance' pages.

Find out more >>

The Property Care Association
11 Ramsay Court
Kingfisher Way
Business Park
PE29 6FY

Content Copyright © 2024 Property Care Association - All rights reserved. The Property Care Association is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England: No. 5596488

“PCA®” and the PCA logo are registered trademarks of the Property Care Association. Legal Information and Disclaimer.