Tree Roots – Remove Retaining Wall

Q: I have a tree in my front yard that had a retaining wall around it. I noticed the blocks starting to rise on one side so I removed the blocks and this is what I found. Will this correct itself or do I need to do something?

A: Wow – great pix!!

It looks like the tree roots grew into the soil inside the retaining blocks. Inevitably, as the roots grew bigger, the wall began to fail.

I can’t see what the top of the tree looks like, but if it seems healthy you need to replace the wall, slightly outside the original diameter, and replace the soil over the roots.

If you leaves the roots exposed, they will die and take the tree with them.

Make the wall just high enough to contain the soil over the roots. If you make it higher and pile soil around the trunk of the tree you’ll have trunk rot issues due to the damp soil at the base.