Councils Choose StoneSet for Tree Surrounds

This years’ drought across the eastern seaboard has become a stern reminder on inadequate design for water conservation. Environmental considerations are sometimes forgotten or left as a ‘nice to have’ at the point of design.

For this and other reasons, StoneSet was asked back to install additional tree surrounds in two prominent Sydney Councils this August. After positive feedback from our first installation in February, Manly Council approved the remaining tree surrounds for the iconic Corso palm trees be completed using StoneSet.

The landscaping authority for Darling Harbour had similarly requested StoneSet replace more existing impermeable surfaces, that had become compacted and was adversely affecting the health of dozens of Crepe Myrtles. These Crepe Myrtles are native to Guangdong Province in China and flower beautifully early Summer. These trees are particularly precious, specifically planted outside the Chinese garden of friendship in Darling Harbour, back in November 2015 as a tribute to Sydneys Sister City Guangzhou








Darling Harbours’ Iconic Crepe Myrtles had better, rainy days.




Grille style Tree guards have many benefits over other options. They are fully porous which benefits tree growth immensely. There is no trip hazard, however many people do avoid walking on them as they are visually similar to a street train which most pedestrians try to avoid. Finally the robust metal is highly resistant to UV degradation or erosion from water which otherwise can affect cementitious adhesive based tree pits.

The first disadvantage is obviously Aesthetics – Whilst the look of street drains are common in suburban areas, they offer none of the natural colour appeal of pebbles or pine mulch.  Grilles are typically ordered custom made to the pit size as part of the specification at the initial point landscaping. Retrofitting can be complicated and expensive. Finally Grilles can act as a trap for loose rubbish, particularly cigarette butts and as shown, can also result in weeds.


This version of tree pit is also fully porous which is important, Significantly, the choice of natural stone as a far greater Aesthetic than the bulky imposing Grille tree guards, which is a more important factor for high profile public areas. Cost of loose lay stone is also cheaper and easy to lay.

The two significant downsides stem from the mobility of the stone. Trip hazards are the number one concern of councils looking to avoid legal problems in highly trafficked public spaces. Apart from the messy appearance, the other major factor is maintenance. You can imagine over 10 years the amount of time spent by council staff or contractors sweeping or replacing loose stone.


StoneSet is the logical alternative to combining the advantages and eliminating the disadvantages of the two systems above. StoneSet is a blend of a very high quality polyurethane resin mixed onsite with high quality clean, dry and well graded stone. It offers all the visual and porous benefits of stone without the many shortcomings.

  • Fully Porous
  • No loose debris / maintenance over years
  • Flush finish – no trip hazards
  • Visually expands the pathway
  • Aesthetically natural with chioce of 30+ stone colours
  • Slip resistance
  • Flexes with root growth where rigid surfaces crack

The StoneSet system for tree surrounds incorporates a 30mm depth of porous stones designed to maximize the porous rate of water flow of up to 103ltrs/m2/second. For tree-pits, StoneSet even incorporates higher level blend of fine cast sand, which makes the material itself slip-resistant and extends the pathway/trafficked area.

The StoneSet system for tree surrounds incorporates a 30mm depth of porous stones designed to maximize the porous rate of water. As a fixed surface offers unparalleled flow of up to 103ltrs/m2/second. Browse the map to see our tree surrounds or Click on an image below to read more about each project.



Best of all, we have a 10-year guarantee and our pavements are built to last 25 years. Looking to fuel your next park project? Contact us. We are members of the Master Builder’s Association and a CarbonNeutral company that is dedicated to customer satisfaction.

Read more on how to use StoneSet for Commercial Applications in our free guide:

StoneSet Commercial applications