material with adequate drainage for sitting area under tree

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  #1  
Old 11-16-15, 12:00 PM
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material with adequate drainage for sitting area under tree

Hi,
I have a large tree in the front yard. We sheet mulched a lot of the area; then we went back and removed the grass from the area around the tree. Now we want to put in a sitting area. Not quite a patio. Maybe a couple benches away from the crowning of the tree roots (bottom left of pic below).

We're well inside the drip line, but I still don't want to have a highly compacted material in place (no pavers, etc.). I've seen some sites recommend decomposed granite (DG), some with a 2-3" layer of road base and then DG, and some with just a gravel fill.

First priority is to avoid damaging the tree, so adequate drainage (i.e. low compaction) is important. Putting up a deck is not something we want.

Any thoughts / suggestions? I'm in Sacramento, should that make a difference.

Thanks,

michael
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Old 11-16-15, 01:29 PM
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a 3/4" washed stone would probably work well. It is big enough not to compact tight, but small enough the be level and stable to walk on.
 
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Old 11-16-15, 02:05 PM
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River rock would be another option. Pretty similar to washed stone. Comes in different sizes and colors, and is rounded so it doesn't compact and is foot friendly.
 
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Old 11-17-15, 06:20 AM
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Thanks, guys. Good ideas. We'll probably pursue some kind of 3/4" rock area - I'll try to post picture when we're done.

I imagine we should put some landscape fabric down to try to prevent weed growth?

Thanks again.

michael
 
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Old 11-17-15, 06:27 AM
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Yes, you will want some geotextile fabric under it to help limit weed growth.
 
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Old 11-17-15, 06:49 AM
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Good idea, and it will prevent the stone from gradually sinking into the soil. Since you're in CA, you may want to stick with a lighter color stone so you don't overheat the roots of that nice old tree.
 
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