Dirt Fill around a large tree How to ??????

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  #1  
Old 01-05-07, 04:40 AM
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Dirt Fill around a large tree How to ??????

Hello , I am leveling my side yard and I need to build up the yard. Problem is I have a about 3 to 4 ft. dia tree that will get some dirt around the trunk. Maybe about 3 to 5 ft up the trunk. What can I do to save this tree and still be able to do the yard build up around it. I have been thinking of building a barrier around the base of the tree with landscape tembers. Yesterday one of the truck drivers who is hauling the dirt told me that I could place about 3 say 8" plactic pipes, standing straight up beside the tree and use them as watering sources and still be able to fill the dirt all the way around up against the tree's trunk. I was thinking that putting too much dirt against a tree killed it my smothering it. He says not getting water at the base of the tree is the problem. Any advice would be appreached , might have a typo right there. Thanks Rex
 
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Old 01-05-07, 05:07 AM
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I think the problem will be the trunk rotting with the dirt up against it. I would vote for the barrier idea, but you still may have problems with water collecting in the "well" and causing problems to the trunk. You may need to include some form of drainage away from the tree.
 
  #3  
Old 01-05-07, 05:23 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I am going to have to do something pretty soon as we we getting more closer to the tree. I think your idea of a drain with the barrier might be the best of both thanks. Rex
 
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Old 01-05-07, 09:15 AM
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i have not seen too many trees saved if the soil is built up over the roots and especially if you cover the trunk. we have had to try this a few times over the years to try to save a specimen tree. it has worked about 50% of the time. we have never gone over about two-three feet and made the well as large as possible. the drainage idea is important or the tree will drowned. sounds to me like the well you describe will be dangerous at five feet deep. you may need to devise some sort of grate to cover the well. this also sounds like a lot of work and cost for a 50% survival or less. note: your retaining walls will have to be anchored to the soil someow to keep it from collapsing. you will be dealing with "loose" soil so settling will also be an issue. good luck. if you are not successful, it may take several years for the tree to die.
 
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Old 01-05-07, 09:20 AM
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Adding or removing more than one inch of soil to the area under the canopy of the tree will usually kill it in three to five years from suffocation or exposure. A tree well would have to extend to a line in keeping with the canopy of the tree. Compaction of the soil in this area from operating heavy equipment will usually have the same effect.

It may be best to remove this tree, fill the yard as desired, and plant a replacement.

In any event, you could call an arborist to evaluate your situation. Many large tree services employ such professionals. An arborist has a span of knowledge and experience that differs from that of dump truck drivers.
 
  #6  
Old 01-05-07, 10:24 AM
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Thanks Guys , I was sort of doughting the truck driver's story , but he swears by it. I am going to expand the retaining wall as far as about 10 ft around the tree I might not need to go as high as I first mentioned with the fill dirt. I am making a level space at the end of my basement at the house. If all else falls, I will have more firewood and will plan new tree. Thanks a bunch. Rex
 
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Old 01-05-07, 02:34 PM
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Me bad; forgot about the roots! I was concentrating on the trunk question.
 
  #8  
Old 01-06-07, 11:45 AM
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Hi Rex,

You've already gotten some great advice and probably realize by now that adding more then an inch or two to the root zone will harm your tree. Another consideration as you build your wall is the damage the trucks can do to any other trees in the area by compacting the soil over the root zone. Here's some helpful sites about tree roots and avoiding construction damage to your trees.

Tree roots:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/02926.html
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/trees_turf.aspx
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx

Tree well:
http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/treeshru/treewells.htm
http://www.deeproot.com/

Construction:
http://www.treehelp.com/howto/howto-prevent-construction-damage.asp
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/avoiding_construction.aspx
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/treatment_construction.aspx

Good luck with your project.
Newt
 
  #9  
Old 01-07-07, 06:15 AM
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Thanks for the info Newt. This tree i am working on is the clostest one to the house and no other ones will be bothered by the trucks or equipment. I am goinng to try and build the retaing wall as large as I can to try and save the tree and that will also save me some dirt beening hauled in. I am somewhere in the 40 Tantum truck loads right now. Probley need about 20 more to get to what I want to complete. Thanks to all who have helped me out Rex
 
  #10  
Old 01-07-07, 07:03 AM
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A well is necessary to keep the soil away from the tree. Your local Cooperative Extension Agent may have tips and info on how to build the well as will a local arborist. You might want to check in with the pros over on the Brick, Masonry, Concrete Forum who know about building walls. You don't want to build a well that is going to cave on you in the future.
 
  #11  
Old 01-07-07, 09:23 AM
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A tree well is a must to save your tree. Any soil build up around the trunk of the tree will smother it, leading to death of your tree as well as soil compaction from those trucks driving over the root zone. Good luck.
 
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