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I recently moved into my first home. Unfortunately, the concrete slab pathway leading from the town sidewalk to the front door is buckling from the roots of an enormous pine tree that grows near it.

What's an inexpensive and durable material to replace this sidewalk with, and how can I prevent future root growth from ruining the new pathway?

I had a landscaper take a look at the pathway, and he recommended bluestone on a bed of crushed stone. The idea is that if the roots grow in the future, you can simply lift the bluestone, level out the crushed stone and then replace the bluestone.

However, this was insanely expensive, and I worry that the bluestone will be super slippery in rainy weather.

Are there other solutions?

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    Inexpensive, durable, nice. Pick any two. :P – isherwood Feb 10 '16 at 14:22
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Depending on where you live, reclaimed brick can be very inexpensive. The same theory still applies: if there's a problem in the future, just pull up the bricks and re-level the bed. However, bricks are thicker than bluestone, so will you have less stone/sand between the brick and the roots, and thus less room for adjustment.

Another possibility is just moving the walkway. If you're going to re-do it to deal with roots, why not run the walkway in a different spot?

  • Not a bad idea. What's the cost compared with pavers, roughly? – isherwood Feb 10 '16 at 14:58
  • It all depends on what you can get. In my hometown, brick is free because all of the old roads are brick underneath. The public works guys have a huge stack from all of the roads that are ripped up, and any resident can just come pick up however much they want. The labor to install is a bit more because it takes longer. – longneck Feb 10 '16 at 15:21
  • Flagstone, or concrete stepping stones are also flexible options. You can be a bit creative! – zipzit Feb 10 '16 at 20:30

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