CuTex is a permeable geocomposite root barrier system consisting of a specially formulated copper sheet mechanically encapsulated between two high strength geotextiles. CuTex acts by safely releasing Cu2+ ions to inhibit root growth. The copper ions create a localised zone of inhibition which when approached by root tips causes them to undergo a progressive collapse.
The copper acts as a signal layer that all plants avert their growth from. CuTex only releases minute quantities of the copper ion and is a safe, yet effective root growth-blocking material.
CuTex can provide direct protection from invasive weeds and plants. Particularly the risk posed by Japanese Knotweed to environments such as utilities’ infrastructures and foundations, across a wide range of industries including construction, highways, rail and water.
Does CuTex inhibit root Growth?
In order to assess whether CuTex can effectively inhibit root growth the University used a range of approaches with different plant species. Testing in a sterile culture using Arabidopsis Thaliana demonstrated how CuTex creates a ‘zone of inhibition’ whereby roots grow towards this zone, but then ceased at a distance of approximately 1.5cm from the composite. Even when seedlings were established at different distances all roots stopped at this zone, and seedlings trying to establish within the zone failed to do so.
Does the effectiveness of CuTex increase with time?
CuTex in soil will effectively form a chemical barrier as the Cu2+ ions diffuse into the soil. It was hypothesised that the effectiveness of the CuTex increases with time. This was tested by pre-incubating CuTex in an agar media for a period of 4 weeks following which time seeds were sown. The plates where the CuTex had been allowed to incubate indicated a much stronger and larger zone of inhibition abolishing the growth of seeds.
Is CuTex safe?
The bio-safety of CuTex was tested by assessing how it affects the overall health and growth of plants. Whilst CuTex prevents plants from growing through the composite and within the zone of inhibition, the effects were shown to be relatively localised. CuTex was not shown to negatively affect the biomass of surrounding plants.
How does it work?
CuTex functions not only as a physical barrier, incorporating strong and durable geotextiles, but also as a chemical barrier. It acts by releasing Cu2+ ions into solution. Confocal laser-scanning microscopy and differential contract interference microscopy was used to analyse the morphology of root tips grown in the presence and absence of CuTex. The results demonstrated that when root tips approach the zone of inhibition they undergo a progressive collapse. The dividing cells at the very tip of the root (the meristem) die off and the cells above the meristem differentiate.
Knotweed Eradication as part of Helmrig Ltd advise on the most appropriate root barrier designed for your particular situation and can design, and install a superior range of specialist root barriers to meet the varied demands of civil engineering, development and tree related subsidence projects, together with issues with residential properties.
Call Knotweed Eradication the appointed distributors for CuTex on 01772 367 133 for more information and quotation.