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Building up borders around Established Trees

Good morning everyone! I was wondering if anyone has any creative solutions, ideas or images of ways to get around the following problem...

Since we have owned our house (16 years now), our garden had had several different looks. I love going back over the photos and seeing how it has changed over time. It is now time for a new chapter and a new look.

We have mature pleated limes and a mature crab apple. Around them I need to build up borders behind new retaining walls (app. 60-80cm / 2 - 2.6ft tall). Now, I think I understand correctly, that you should never build up soil on top of trees' roots but I am not patient enough to do this over several years (which some people recomend) and I also think that only works for limited depth of soil, not my suggested height.

Does anyone have any good suggestions as to how I deal with this? I could build retaining circles around the trees, say around 4-5ft diamater I guess. But even then, what's a good way to do this? Any help much appreciated! :-)


  • darren636darren636 Posts: 666

    You'll need to leave the area from trunk up to the drip line clear

    Encroachment on this area could mean real trouble.

    For the tree

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,860

    I agree with Darren image  

    I absolutely would not increase the soil level over the roots of established trees - particularly something as wonderful as a row of pleached limes.

    Time for a re-think image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Ha! Thanks for that. OK that's not necessarily a huge issue, as that can still be worked into the design. It just means leaving a circle of about 5-6ft free. It can still be planted, just at a lower level than the rest. Then I just need to work out an elegant way of retaining the higher level soil around the dripline.

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