My Place...Need some ideas/input


LawnSite Senior Member
Here is the deal...
Moved in last fall, have been doing some drainage correction to get me to this point. As the pictures will show, I need a new driveway/steps. My question is the oak tree growing approx 7 ft off drive and approx 15-20 off house. I know this is not "concretesite" but I am sure that someone on here has run into this problem as far as a tree bring too close to the area you are working. Have enough fall from the house to build up the front walk, am thinking of paving(lightly) around the tree. IE pavers in sand that will let water pass, move as needed.
I really do not want to take the tree down, but what about my basement walls??
Any ideas?


D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
For the most part, I don't think you have much to worry about concerning your basement walls. As far as paving, try to stay as far away from the tree as possible, that should go without saying.

I ran into a similiar situation while doing a design last fall. I think what I came up with was to strip the sod off lightly, lay down some fabric/geotextile, set the pavers on a thin bed of sand, and build up the sides with compost.

I realize that what I just described will be highly susceptable to frost heaving in the winter, but to save an almost mature oak, it's well worth it. The other option we came up with was a fiber concrete sidewalk, possibly stamped. From what I understand and have seen of this type of concrete, you don't need much (if at all) in the way of base material.

I will post a link to this thread over on Arboristsite, hopefully someone over there with more experience than I in this sort of thing will chime in.



LawnSite Senior Member
Atlanta, Ga.
You have a basement in your house?? I would definately start by pulling drive and walk. The curb going in to your garage needs to be erradicated. When you pour your new drive try to leave about 3/4" lip, so water will not run back into your garage. What kind of budget do you have??

What type of water problems are you having?

If the tree is 20' away from your house you should be fine.

When you raise the grade to compensate for the curb into your garage it might eliminate issues with the tree roots under your drive.

It is hard to say by looking @ pics. Good Luck.


LawnSite Silver Member
Eastern Ontario
I come across projects like this all the time. For starters I would cover the top concrete platform with either interlock pavers or capstone and pavers, using pl premium or similar bonding material. Not for the inexperienced though. Secondly I would remove the lower step and construct a similarly shaped step as the top using the same materials. Looks like you may have a cold room under the porch. If so you will have to deal with venting the room someother way or constructing your new step a little narrower than the width of the landing. I would remove all concrete from lower step to driveway and at least 10 feet from garage floor and brick it all. Up to point where slope of driveway flows towards the road. From the pictures you sent it looks like you may have just enough slope from the porch to the driveway.
Also if you had room maybe the walkway could remain at least 2 or 3 feet from the foundation wall. I think the oak tree will fare quite well as long as you don't disturb the roots to much. You may find that once the concrete is removed you may not need to dig any deeper since your final grade will actually be higher than it is now. Like the others have been saying you may have some movement in the spring time but it sure beats having to remove the tree.


LawnSite Senior Member
well you should rip out the drive and walk that leads to the door.
rase the drive to just a little lower than the garage floor then with that in place lift the walk. your drive looks really low just rase it up
the tree should be fine. keep in mind that if the drive is level wit the garage floor it could rase in the winter with ice developing in under it. thats my 2 cents