Upgrading the landscaping in your yard can be a fun project.
You get to choose which plants and trees to add, and where you’ll plant everything.
If you’re thinking of adding a retaining wall to your current landscaping, or if you want to plant a tree near an existing wall, there are some things you need to consider before making this move.
Before you build, take care that whatever plan you have won’t interfere with existing roots.
You cannot lay concrete or add bricks and blocks over the roots your tree already has grown. If you do, you can cause your new structure to shift and break apart as the roots grow. And, if you accidentally cut into the roots while digging to lay your wall, your tree can become diseased.
When planning your wall, you can build an enclosure around your tree to help with mowing or as a decorative feature. Taking the root system into consideration will give your wall more longevity.
It’s best to avoid cutting into tree roots whenever possible.
If you do cut the roots, you can deprive your tree of vital nutrients and water, or even damage its structural integrity and stability.
Sometimes you do need to prune the roots. For best results – and best tree health – hire an expert to handle this job.
Make every effort to build a wall outside the tree’s root system. This can be challenging, as some trees spread their roots dozens of feet underground.
When in doubt, consult with a professional about the location of your new retaining wall.
If you’re looking to plant a new tree, especially one that may grow large, it’s best to plant the tree as far away from the retaining wall as possible.
A good rule of thumb is to plant your tree just outside an area the same distance as the height you expect your tree to grow.
So, if you anticipate your new tree will grow to be 15 feet tall, plant your tree at least 15 feet from your retaining wall.
If you have a smaller yard, this may be a difficult task. You may have to make some decisions about the size of tree you decide to plant, as the growing roots can damage the wall eventually.