Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple

 
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:27 PM   #1
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Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


Well I wish I would have posted this for opinions first rather than already doing it but I need some confident boosters.

I'm building a retaining wall for a client around a HUGE silver maple. Of Course I knew we were going to run into problems with some roots but didn't realize the extent of it until we got about 2 inches into the ground...we got into some pretty serious roots....3-4 inches atleast 3 of them...many secondary roots. I'm looking for someone to tell me that these strong rooted trees will adapt and come out of it because all I can think about it that I just killed their 20 yr old tree.

Thank you from the wise gardner who failed to do her research first...
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


I'll be watching to see what the real experts say. Meanwhile, I'll entertain you.

I've wondered the same thing myself because I've seen sidewalk crews that routinely lop roots that didn't know enough to stay out from under the sidewalk. My observation has been that it does no lasting damage to the tree.

How huge is that silver maple? You mentioned 20 years old, I've got a few in that age on my property and they are still less than 2' in diameter. I had to cut down another, older one because it was losing limbs at an increasing rate. That one was almost 4' across and I figure it was much older.

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Old 03-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


yeah...I think I was off on the age...I"m thinking its more like 40 years old. lol...I started thinking about their heart felt story of how their kid planted this tree from twig and they are in their 60s...so that makes me feel even worse. haha THANKS.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


See if this helps any:

http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/lpro022/lpro022.htm
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


Do NOT cut those roots that are 4 plus inches. They are support roots so I have bee told. I have always tried to work around them i.e buuild a stone shelf over them if your doing a stone retaining wall. you can fill in the void dry set so the root will have room to grow and move a few stones. Hope this helps......
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


If you can post a few pictures of job so I can get a better look
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:01 PM   #7
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


Maybe you could sell them on building a wood fired pizza oven...because that tree will probably be fire wood in 5 years.

If it does manage to survive the root damage then make sure that you don't fill the tree well up with dirt and mulch....unless you leave a hollow around the base. The tree with suffocate and surely die if you don't.

I hope this tree makes it though...it would really suck for them to lose a memento like that. Unfortunately most tree wells are tree killers.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:28 AM   #8
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


Quote:
Originally Posted by Design2Sell View Post
Well I wish I would have posted this for opinions first rather than already doing it but I need some confident boosters.

I'm building a retaining wall for a client around a HUGE silver maple. Of Course I knew we were going to run into problems with some roots but didn't realize the extent of it until we got about 2 inches into the ground...we got into some pretty serious roots....3-4 inches atleast 3 of them...many secondary roots. I'm looking for someone to tell me that these strong rooted trees will adapt and come out of it because all I can think about it that I just killed their 20 yr old tree.

Thank you from the wise gardner who failed to do her research first...
So how many roots did you end up cutting? 3-4 inch thick roots? How close to the maple were the cuts? Are the cuts to the roots clean cuts or were they jagged/torn?

If the roots are cut far enough away it probably won't be a problem; Silver Maples develop a pretty extensive roots system, and stability is really only an issue versus wind. If the cuts were clean, the roots could heal well enough on their own.

Why are you building a retaining wall around it? For your client to fill it with soil and plant other things? The Maple's root system will take over any dirt filled in very quickly and could even damage the wall you've made. I'd be more concerned about the wall than with the tree's life--it will almost certainly live.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:29 AM   #9
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


I would be concerned that the concrete itself will poison the tree. Assuming you are pouring a footing? A tree that size might surprise everyone though. Have you talked to any arborist types? They may have some suggestions.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:30 AM   #10
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


If you read that awesome link that Griz posted (thaks Griz) it recommends thinning the upper foliage now to help the roots be in balance with the top.
It sucks hindsight is 20/20 but usually there is something you can do to help.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:45 PM   #11
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


I have a friend who bought property on the river during the real estate boom and his new neighbor decided that there were three trees in the way of his view so he cut them down...except that they were on my friends property...
Judge said that the neighbor responsible to replace the trees with the same age and type trees and any extra landscaping to bring it back to original condition... As well as all legal fees...

So far is in excess of $25,000 and not done yet.


Trees are funny things...

I don't mess with them. But I can hook you up with an excellent Arborist...
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:34 PM   #12
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


Quote:
Originally Posted by onthelevel View Post
If you read that awesome link that Griz posted (thaks Griz) it recommends thinning the upper foliage now to help the roots be in balance with the top.
It sucks hindsight is 20/20 but usually there is something you can do to help.
Honestly that article is outdated. It says 1914 on the bottom. The International Society of Arboriculture stopped recommending "balancing" the canopy and the root system a long time ago. It's been proven that a full canopy speeds root recovery.

You didn't give me enough information about the situation to be much help. Need to know things like how far away the retaining wall is, how you cut the roots and more. Also, did the grade change? I'd imagine it did if a retaining wall is going up.

Upload some pictures and I can give you helpful information.

LOL just saw this thread has been dormant for months.

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Old 08-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #13
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


If you built a retaining wall with footings and mortar it will be guaranteed to crack if silver maple roots are under it. A segmental retaining wall that is built on a compacted base uses no concrete footing that will crack.

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Old 08-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #14
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
If you built a retaining wall with footings and mortar it will be guaranteed to crack maple roots are under it. A segmental retaining wall that is built on a compacted base uses no concrete footing that will crack.

Dick
LOL this is getting ridiculous. The OP is worried about the tree, not the retaining wall, and this thread is several months old.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #15
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


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Originally Posted by leeson1776 View Post
LOL this is getting ridiculous. The OP is worried about the tree, not the retaining wall, and this thread is several months old.
Well this happens from time to time but some folks might still want to learn something...it's irrelevant how old a thread is. Plus, the original question was about how building the retaining wall may have effected the tree...how is that ridiculous?
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:43 AM   #16
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Re: Retaining Wall Around A 20 Yr Old Silver Maple


Does the customer know that the tree is going to destroy your wall at some point?

I try to encourage removal of stuff like that entirely.

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