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Lanscaping Around a Large Maple

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by tmc8524, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. tmc8524

    tmc8524 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    I have a customer that has a large maple tree with some exposed roots that has an old crappy flower bed around it. They want me to re do it with something classy. I was thinking about a short (3ft or less) dry laid stone wall but my questions are 1. as the tree continues to grow will it push the wall up with the roots? 2. In order to lay the first run of the wall under ground level i will have to cut roots. Will this harm the tree? The wall will be completly around the tree about 10ft from it and i was planning on back filling it with dirt. I am open to any other suggestions also. :confused:
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    The wall isn't a good idea, you're right, the tree roots will eventually move it. Besides, you might cut into some roots that could harm the tree.

    Don't backfill either. You potentially could smother out some of the feeder roots.

    If it were me, I would push for a shade garden and a simple edging around the landscaped area. Hostas do very well under trees, especially maples.
  3. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    I agree with white gardens, however if the roots are exposed, lay some top soil just a thin layer and cover with mulch and then go with hostas, or i don't know too much about your area, but find a deep shaded plant, BUT also consider the amount of water that tree will be taking away from the plants. I say go with the hostas
  4. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    You are planning on wounding this tree by cutting roots, then building a 3' tall wall on top of the fresh wounds, and THEN backfilling the area up to the tree with soil? This tree will be dead in 2-3 years if you do this.

    The exposed roots are most commonly from over watering, i.e. sprinkler systems, or planted too deep/too much mulch. The tree sends the roots up instead of down throught he soil looking for oxygen, water, and nutrients.

    If you snap some pics I am sure we can help with a better plan than killing the tree
  5. tmc8524

    tmc8524 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    thanks i will take some pics and post them
  6. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    It might take longer than 2 or 3 years, but the tree will certainly be a goner if you proceed as described in your initial post. There are many (comparatively) short shade plants that will look great under a tree. I'm particularly fond of Lamium (deadnettle). If you mix the white flowered with the pink flowered, it looks especially nice.

    IMG_4310 lamium.jpg

    IMG_4311 lamium (closeup).jpg
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  7. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    Boston, I agree totally. I know you're a tree guy, I Have a Swamp Maple at my own house. Everything I have been told, is this type of tree naturally has surface roots. Is this not true?

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