Retaining Wall Near Very Old Maple (large Roots) - Landscaping & Lawn Care - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 04-19-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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Retaining wall near very old maple (large roots)

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?
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by hokietoner View Post
Do I have any chance of hurting the tree by cutting these giant roots?
I have seen rules-of-thumb on the Web for how many roots you can cut with minimal chance of the tree dying.

Besides the usual search keywords, try the exact phrase "into shock" so you avoid having the tree respond in this way. Use Google's Advanced Search option.
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