Tree roots interfere with landscaping plan

Joined
May 24, 2023
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Location
45365
Country
United States
I have been thinking about installing a ring around a tree in my yard using retaing wall blocks. It's a maple tree about 20" in diameter and I was planning on a ring about 10-12' in diameter. The area around the tree is sloped so the high areas of the circle would get one layer of block and the lower areas would get 2 or 3 layers. I would need to dig out some soil as needed to make the layers level. The problem is that there are roots everywhere. I would need to chop out a lot of roots to make this happen. This is a large healthy tree so maybe removing these surface roots wouldn't hurt it. Or maybe there is another option. I'm not stuck on using the retaining wall blocks. Looking for options/advice - thanks in advance.
 
Joined
May 24, 2023
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Location
45365
Country
United States
I surely don't want to damage the tree - just planning to add some mulch and thought that the ring would keep it in place.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
4,320
Reaction score
3,301
Location
Kent
Country
United Kingdom
Well composted mulch is fine, but it doesn't need anything to ''keep it in'' Just put the mulch around the tree, but not right up to the trunk. It will look much better like that too - more natural. It certainly would not like concrete and blocks, and that would not be a good look either. It's usually best to apply mulch after rain.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2017
Messages
6,958
Reaction score
5,101
Location
Birmingham, AL USA
Hardiness Zone
8a
Country
United States
We use a triangular crushed limestone to great effect. It locks into place even on steeper inclines and percolates water and air just fine while retaining moisture and lowering ground temperatures. The decorative plants we use like liriope absolutely love stone to hide roots under as the moisture is even across the highs and lows of the year.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
1,550
Reaction score
504
Country
United States
Tree rings are out because they do more harm than good. That Maple may not be there much longer if you do anything to the roots. IF you put stone around the flair you will add too much heat in the summer and too cold in the winter. Just leave it alone.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
417
Reaction score
251
Showcase(s):
1
Country
United States
I have been thinking about installing a ring around a tree in my yard using retaing wall blocks. It's a maple tree about 20" in diameter and I was planning on a ring about 10-12' in diameter. The area around the tree is sloped so the high areas of the circle would get one layer of block and the lower areas would get 2 or 3 layers. I would need to dig out some soil as needed to make the layers level. The problem is that there are roots everywhere. I would need to chop out a lot of roots to make this happen. This is a large healthy tree so maybe removing these surface roots wouldn't hurt it. Or maybe there is another option. I'm not stuck on using the retaining wall blocks. Looking for options/advice - thanks in advance.
Did something similar awhile back using left-over brick pieces. Just placed a loosely stacked ring around the tree - right over any roots - and it looked really good. Large stones would also work well, something heavy enough that it will stay in place along a grade.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
United States
Country
United States
Welcome cwrandolph. :)

The surface roots of a tree are the feeder roots taking in nutrients and water. If you remove any great amount of those it's likely you'll damage the tree, or worse kill it.

Is it necessary to create a ring?
  1. Alternative Materials: Instead of using retaining wall blocks, you can explore other materials that are more flexible and less intrusive to the tree roots. Options such as flexible rubber or plastic edging, natural stone, or even creating a raised bed with organic materials can be considered. These materials are less likely to disrupt the root system and still provide a defined border around the tree.
  2. Adjusting the Design: If you still prefer to use retaining wall blocks, you can modify the design to minimize root disturbance. Rather than creating a complete circle around the tree, consider making a partial ring or a more irregular shape that allows for the existing roots to remain undisturbed. Find out more
When installing a ring around a tree using retaining wall blocks, it's important to consider the impact it may have on the tree's roots. Maple trees, like any other tree, rely on their root system for stability and nutrient absorption. Removing or cutting too many roots can potentially harm the tree.
Here are a few options and advice to consider:
  1. Alternative Materials: Instead of using retaining wall blocks, you can explore other materials that are more flexible and less intrusive to the tree roots. Options such as flexible rubber or plastic edging, natural stone, or even creating a raised bed with organic materials can be considered. These materials are less likely to disrupt the root system and still provide a defined border around the tree.
  2. Adjusting the Design: If you still prefer to use retaining wall blocks, you can modify the design to minimize root disturbance. Rather than creating a complete circle around the tree, consider making a partial ring or a more irregular shape that allows for the existing roots to remain undisturbed. This way, you can still achieve your desired aesthetic while reducing the impact on the tree.
  3. Consulting an Arborist: To ensure the health and longevity of the tree, it's advisable to consult with a professional arborist. They can assess the situation, evaluate the potential impact on the tree, and provide guidance on the best course of action. An arborist's expertise will help you make an informed decision and carry out the project without causing harm to the tree.
Remember, the overall health and well-being of the tree should be the top priority. Taking appropriate measures to minimize root disturbance and seeking professional advice will help you create a landscape feature while maintaining the tree's vitality.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
27,197
Messages
260,513
Members
13,726
Latest member
mogard

Latest Threads

Top