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Old 11-20-2011, 06:41 PM   #1
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


I'm looking into building a retaining wall on one side of my house in order to make it so I can build a patio. In the middle of it I'd like to put a princeton elm tree so that it will be shaded in a few years (it'd be a mature 7-10 foot tree). Is there a proper way to make sure it works as best as possible? I'm guessing that by using pavers rather than poured concrete it'd help the tree by making sure water gets to the roots, right?

Is there anything I can do to minimize or hopefully make sure that the roots don't pose a problem and lift the patio?

Thanks for any advice.

-Mike

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Old 11-21-2011, 12:43 AM   #2
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


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Originally Posted by MLMIB View Post
I'm looking into building a retaining wall on one side of my house in order to make it so I can build a patio. In the middle of it I'd like to put a princeton elm tree so that it will be shaded in a few years (it'd be a mature 7-10 foot tree). Is there a proper way to make sure it works as best as possible? I'm guessing that by using pavers rather than poured concrete it'd help the tree by making sure water gets to the roots, right?

Is there anything I can do to minimize or hopefully make sure that the roots don't pose a problem and lift the patio?

Thanks for any advice.

-Mike
Are you sure that Princeton Elm tree is only 7-10 feet? I thought that was a fast-growing Elm, that got pretty big. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Building a patio - with pavers - around a tree can work, but I think I'd go with a smaller ornamental tree. But even with an ornamental, the roots could grow in such as way that one could push the pavers up.

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Old 11-21-2011, 06:23 AM   #3
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


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Originally Posted by DrHicks
Are you sure that Princeton Elm tree is only 7-10 feet? I thought that was a fast-growing Elm, that got pretty big. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Building a patio - with pavers - around a tree can work, but I think I'd go with a smaller ornamental tree. But even with an ornamental, the roots could grow in such as way that one could push the pavers up.
My mistake for not being more specific. I'd plant an elm that was already 7-10ft. I expect it'll grow quite a bit. The trees in my area are 70-100ft tall I'd guess and I'd like this to fill in a nice hole in the canopy.

Can I build a wood platform going out 5 or so ft from the tree with 6 inches clearance from the soil to put the pavers on so the roots don't disturb the pavers for quite some time, would that work?
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:02 AM   #4
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


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My mistake for not being more specific. I'd plant an elm that was already 7-10ft. I expect it'll grow quite a bit. The trees in my area are 70-100ft tall I'd guess and I'd like this to fill in a nice hole in the canopy.

Can I build a wood platform going out 5 or so ft from the tree with 6 inches clearance from the soil to put the pavers on so the roots don't disturb the pavers for quite some time, would that work?
Sounds like you're describing a deck with pavers on top of it. Personally, I wouldn't do that.

You can build a paver patio around a young tree, but you have to do so with the understanding that the roots will eventually be pushing up on the pavers. It might be 10-15 years down the road, but it will happen. Also, roots pressing against basement walls could become a problem. But again, that's something that would be years down the road - and likely somebody else's problem.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:25 PM   #5
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


Why not incorporate a tree grate into the patio design. Even the ones they use around street trees here are quite attractive. They would provide lots of waterflow to the tree roots. You can walk on the surface and all that jazz. This is one foundry source for cast iron ones. Note they have many design possibilities. I used them in residential landscape designs along with colored/stained and stamped concrete or pavers and the clients were always pleased.

http://www.nfco.com/municipal/products/tree-grates/

Don't let the shipping weight scare you. Cast iron ships common carrier fairly inexpensively. Just do not be in a hurry. I have not priced them in awhile but the cast iron ones will last forever in your landscape and require no maintenance.


You also want to make sure you water deeply and infrequently once your tree is established to encourage deep root growth.

Last edited by user1007; 11-21-2011 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:31 AM   #6
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


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Why not incorporate a tree grate into the patio design. Even the ones they use around street trees here are quite attractive. They would provide lots of waterflow to the tree roots. You can walk on the surface and all that jazz. This is one foundry source for cast iron ones. Note they have many design possibilities. I used them in residential landscape designs along with colored/stained and stamped concrete or pavers and the clients were always pleased.

http://www.nfco.com/municipal/products/tree-grates/

Don't let the shipping weight scare you. Cast iron ships common carrier fairly inexpensively. Just do not be in a hurry. I have not priced them in awhile but the cast iron ones will last forever in your landscape and require no maintenance.


You also want to make sure you water deeply and infrequently once your tree is established to encourage deep root growth.
awesome idea and I like it. How do you deal with the trunk getting bigger?

Also, does anyone know a good site that talks about how far away to plant certain trees from house and structures to make sure it doesn't cause damage with the roots?
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:24 AM   #7
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


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awesome idea and I like it. How do you deal with the trunk getting bigger?

Also, does anyone know a good site that talks about how far away to plant certain trees from house and structures to make sure it doesn't cause damage with the roots?
Shop for a grate with an opening the size of the mature tree trunk.

Your city or parks department may publish a guide to planting trees. You may have an arborist that can advise you on how far from structures to plant trees. I good tree book from the library will also have the information and I suspect there are now online resources.

The biggest mistake people make is planting according to what the tree looks like now. You need to space it according to what it will be when it grows up. And for trees with invasive roots you want to give them extra room away from sewer lines, sidewalks, foundations, etc.

And learn to water deeply and infrequently so the roots seek water and nutrients deeply.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


Have you considered building a bench around the tree? Then put the pavers up to it.
You could probably find plans for something similar to the octagon online.

Not endorsing these sites or products, just using them as an example.

http://www.tropicalthatchshop.com.au..._shop_8640.jpg

http://www.belson.com/atbench.htm

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Old 11-23-2011, 10:47 PM   #9
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


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Have you considered building a bench around the tree? Then put the pavers up to it.
You could probably find plans for something similar to the octagon online.

Not endorsing these sites or products, just using them as an example.
+1 Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:23 AM   #10
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building a patio with a new tree in the middle, how to?


There are paver systems that are especially designed for under/around trees, one system that is available here in New Zealand is called Enviropave. There are others, check out http://firth.co.nz/product-informati...ve-system.aspx
Something similar is probably available in your area.
Most of the problems with roots lifting concrete/pavers is caused by the paving preventing water getting to the roots so they travel under looking for water. The sand base provides the easiest route for them.

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