Retaining Wall Question?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by timscherer, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. timscherer

    timscherer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I know this question is located in the wrong tread, but here is the question for anyone interested in sharing their expertise.

    I need some ideas how to approach a job that requires installing a retaining wall around a tree that is located on a slight slope. The issues I have to work with is the roots from the tree have surfaced. The roots are approximately 3-4" in diameter and stretch out beyond where the homeowner wants the wall located (beyond the trees drip line). In order for me to do the job correctly, I need to dig a trench 6" deep to allow for my drainage aggregate and leveling sand, however I have the roots that will prevent me from digging a trench in those areas.

    What are your recommendations on how to approach this issue to complete the job. Also, I am beginning to incorporate hardscaping into my business, and I would like to know how much the going rate is per linear feet on retaining walls? The retaining wall would be approximately 3 layers with a cap using a stone size approx 6"x8"x12" with a ledge.

    Any help will be appreciated, thanks.
  2. Strick

    Strick LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I think you will have to come out further, past the drip line or at the drip line. If not, you will have to disturb too many roots. This will also help prevent damage to the tree.
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,292

    Good question - but yikes walls and tree roots do not mix. And why did the roots surface? Was it due to surface erosion? Tree planted too shallow to begin with?
    My gut tells me I would ask the homeowner to reconsider their request, because they might be disappointed with what they get down the road. Either that, or take the tree down and plant a new one the right way.
  4. timscherer

    timscherer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Research tells me that a tree planted in a dense clay soil (like this particular tree) with out a mulch ring and good top soil surrounding the tree has 3 counts against it.

    1) Tree competes with the grass in its root area for water and nutrients (needs mulch ring).
    2) No mulch ring for mulch to retain moisture for the trees root to thrive on.
    3) Tree was planted in a dense clay soil, roots will always take the path of least resistance, resulting in surfacing.

    Thanks for your information.
  5. Briley1975

    Briley1975 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Just look past the ugly brown patches in the yard and you can see the ones that I did a few weeks ago in my yard. Similar situation, one slightly sloped and shallow roots around both. Had to get creative. Had to check where the roots were, line up the blocks to allow a gap between around the roots, line them up again, even cut the back sides/ notched some of them to give room for the roots. Not sure how fast roots grow but hopefully not that fast and this will last a while. I'd suggest marking where you think you want it and adjust the size from there.
  6. Briley1975

    Briley1975 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

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