Quick Question

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DoubleB, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. DoubleB

    DoubleB LawnSite Member
    from So.Dak.
    Messages: 60

    If I were to plant a river birch approx. 3'-4' behind a dry stacked natural stone wall that is approx 4' in high, would I have to worry about the roots of the birch eventually pushing the wall out?
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    I'm not familiar with the tree, but I would say yes, you should worry about it. Most of your big roots usually go out laterally, right into the wall, lest this tree is different.
  3. DoubleB

    DoubleB LawnSite Member
    from So.Dak.
    Messages: 60

    How would I prevent this from happening then? The full name for the tree is Heritage River Birch
  4. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    How about a Crape Myrtle? Or other trees like Dogwood, Redbud, Jap Maple etc.

    Good choice on the Heritage but have you ever seen a mature River Birch? Big surface roots. For now you would be okay, 10yrs from now could be a different story.
  5. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    It really depends on the construction of the wall. Tree roots will always seek out water and will most likely move in that direction. If they hit something solid they will reroute themselves, but over time that root will gain girth and most likely push your wall. I plant alot of birches, but I usually try to keep them away from walls. That should go for ANY tree that eclipses 20'

  6. DoubleB

    DoubleB LawnSite Member
    from So.Dak.
    Messages: 60

    The reason I like the River Birch is the "woodsy" look and feel it provides, like your at the lake or something. Something different to bring to the clutered city feel.

    CG, just curious, what other types of plantings do you use that coinside with the river birch, Since you say you like them?

    thanks tthomass, the river birch is by far my favorite tree to plant, love the look.
  7. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    I love to do mass plantings of Liriope or daylillies w/ Birches. I also like Blue rugs around the tree to add some evergreen presence. Other shrubs I will use are Goldthreads, Inkberry Hollies, or Microbiota. Don't forget some nice boulders to go with that Birch.


    OUTLANDER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    birsh might outgrow whole bed
  9. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,020

    Not to worrie for the next 15 years.:drinkup:
  10. Tom B.

    Tom B. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    If you really want trees that close to the wall can you change the wall material? Root issues would be minimal if you construct the wall with boulders. Otherwise, 4' is too close, especially if a birch has sufficient irrigation. A river birch can grow extremely fast but can also be short lived. It is also one of my favorite trees.

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