I have a slope in my yard and am building a 32" high retaining wall. I'm building the wall about 4 feet from the start of the slope so I have to dig quite 1-2 feet out before I get down to what will be grade.
I'm finding some very big roots from a very old silver maple in the neighbor's yard. At the moment the wall is planned in a straight line going directly at the tree, like this:
========= | O
Where = is the wall, | is the fence at the property line, and O is the tree.
I'm about 4-5 feet from the tree and I'm seeing some very large roots, maybe 4" in diameter. I'm starting to think I won't be able to get very close to the tree. But I can always just keep hacking at roots to make this work. The tree is large enough that if I wrapped my arms around it, I probably would only make it half-way around.
Originally the wall was going to curve into the hillside, like this:
\________/ | O
But since I'm only 4-5 feet away and I'm already seeing massive roots, I'm thinking I might have to do something like this instead:
\______/. . . | O
i.e., just curve it in far short of the tree and leave the land on the other side of it as a slope.
Thoughts? Do I have any chance of hurting the tree by cutting these giant roots?