Building A Retaining Wall Near A Tree?

Certified Arborists Serving Ventura & Los Angeles Counties

News And Advice From The Leading Thousand Oaks Tree Trimming Company

Part of the beauty of the Conejo Valley is the rolling landscape that makes up most of our area. While there are some homes that sit on a completely level lot, many if not most homes have some nice banks that give the yard its character. A natural consequence of having that terrain is that retaining walls are the norm in our area. Of course, retaining walls, despite their expense, can be beautiful in their own right. Drive around some of our neighborhoods and you’ll see a wonderful variety of architectural designs.

If you have a retaining wall in your yard, or are planning on having one built, it’s good to consider how your trees will co-exist with the wall. Building a retaining wall near trees or planting a tree near a wall can be done, but it requires careful consideration to avoid potential issues. Here are some factors to keep in mind.

Tree Root Systems: Trees have extensive root systems that can extend beyond the tree’s canopy. Planting a tree too close to a retaining wall can result in the roots causing damage to the wall over time.

Soil Stability: Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil. Planting trees too close to the wall can affect the stability of the soil, leading to potential issues with the wall’s integrity.

Wall Material: The type of material used for the retaining wall matters. Some materials may be more susceptible to damage from tree roots or changes in soil conditions. Roots may not seem to be as tough as concrete, but they are surprisingly strong — roots can do real damage

Spacing: If you plan to build a retaining wall near existing trees, consider the spacing to allow room for both the wall and the tree without causing interference. Try to match the tree’s height to its distance from a wall. For example, if your tree is 20 fee hight, try to keep it 20 feet form the wall.

Species Selection: If you are planting a tree near a retaining wall, choose tree species with less aggressive root systems. Some trees are known for having shallow or non-invasive roots. Check out Japanese Maple trees or Crape Myrtle to see what kind of options you have for trees with non-invasive root systems. Both the Japanese Maple and the Crape Myrtle can also provide a striking display of color in your yard.

Professional Advice: While general advice on planting a tree near a wall is valuable, it’s also always best to get some professional advice if you have any doubt about your plans. Give us a call and we can help you out.

Water Drainage: Ensure proper drainage around the retaining wall and the tree to prevent water-related issues that could affect both the wall and the tree.