Installing stone patio over maple tree roots

mauross(z7 Baltimore MD)March 9, 2006

We are thinking of installing a small (10'x10' or so) stone patio about 4' away from the trunk of a mature sugar maple tree. Most likely, we'd build a small retaining wall and lay the stone in a gravel/sand bed.

My concern is twofold: harming the maple and having its shallow roots dislodge the stones.

Another option would be to build a very short wooden floor.

What do you all think?

Thanks in advance,

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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Iffy, iffy. One of two things will happen.

Once you put a big layer of gravel, sand, and stone on top of the roots, the maple roots may very well rise through the foundation in order to get water and air. This will cause all the stones to heave, and require endless corrections.

If the foundation is done properly, you will probably wind up with at least 10 inches of overlay, which may very well kill those roots. Given that it's so close to the trunk, this will not be good for the tree, as you could kill 20-25% of the roots. If it's a mature maple, it might be survive this, but sounds rather risky.

Of course, all of this will take probably 3 years or more before the roots cause problems or the tree begins to die. Trees that big don't die right away.

Me? I LOVE stone, but in this case I would go for a wooden deck.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 7:31PM
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