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Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

Posted by johnorange SE Texas (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 14, 14 at 10:42

I am about to build a retaining wall around a dancy tangerine and would like some real-world guidance on dimensions. Thanks for your input!

I'm in SE Texas, Zone II so I planted this tree on the south side of my house where it has full protection from the house on two sides and a little more protection on a third side by a 7 ft rock wall. The tangerine is probably on trifoliate root stock. I'm quite sure I'll need to cover the tree on cold nights during our winters which will get down in the upper 20s a few nights so the wall will be multi-purpose. Covering the tree will also help protect the fruit which I understand will ripen in Dec/Jan. I will build in some holes along the wall so I can drop PVC pipe in for tarp supports. I'm trying to make the wall big enough for the root zone but I have some drainage needs so I'm trying to keep that in mind too. I built up from the existing ground with sandy soil for the tree and it's doing really well so far. The retaining wall will help hold the mound and allow me to bring up the depth of the soil in the outer perimeter.

Literature I have read says the tree will grow to 15-20 ft wide. The photo below shows a 7ft x 7ft outline I hoped to use considering other drainage plans. If the tree will really reach 15 or even 20 ft wide, that won't be big enough. How big should I make the wall? If it matters, the wall will probably be about 1 or 2 ft high.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

Here is one more photo from above.


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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

Bumping this one to see if it got lost over the weekend. I hope to start this project soon and am worried by the silence if this is just totally the wrong thing to do and there wasn't room for constructive comments :>) I promise I have broad shoulders.


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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

I think it's a really good idea! A part-time green house kind of thing, right?
I would enlarge the wall, I think your concerns are valid. Maybe use the wall to the left as one side and extend the other three walls out the same distance. If all goes well your tree will almost fill this area, and you will still have some room to move around it for maintenence, etc.


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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

It would be a lot easier to just buy four prefabbed concrete post hole foundations with a 4 by 4 bracket you could bury without mortar to hold the scaffolding support base for the temporary winter frost blanket. Use short four by four fir lengths with holes drilled thru them using 3/8' 5" stainless lag bolts with thumb screws so it would be easy to remove them when it isn't cold. You could attach the pvc pipe with brackets to the 4 X 4 lengths.


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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

If those air conditioner units are heat pumps they will kill your tree if you use them to heat your house on a cold night. If they are just air conditioners you will be safe. Otherwise I would go with Joncha's idea. Much easier.

Steve


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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

Thanks for the input. Yes, it will be an easy up/easy down greenhouse. We sometimes go from sub-freezing at night to hot the next day so I have to pull tarps off before I leave for work to keep plants from getting too hot during the day. In addition, I need the low wall to hold the sand I mounded up for the tree. Might be hard to see in the photo but the soil at the tree is about 14" higher than surrounding soil. Sizing for the dimensions is the hard part since I have no idea if this tree will reach published proportions in my area.

I'll try to post an update later.


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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

I guess i am not understanding why you want to build a raised bed in that location. Is it too much drainage or not enough.

Brick retainer walls are at best semi permanent. You could just use wood to create a large box which is easier to remove if need be.


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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

Did not apply to this situation. Best of luck to you.

Steve

This post was edited by poncirusguy on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 14:56


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RE: Building a retaining wall around a Dancy

My purpose for the retaining wall is two-fold. Primarily to keep our 60inches of annual rain from washing dirt off the mound I planted the tree on and into the low area around the tree that needs to stay low enough to drain water from around my house. I want the low wall to be visually appealing so I plan to match it with the rock wall (part of an outdoor shower). The bonus for the sturdy wall is that I can use it to help support a freeze cover during cold winter nights. My main purpose for posting was to get input from folks with mature Dancys to see how big they get. I'm guessing mine won't get as big as some since my winters will be a little rough on my tree. I'm in Zone II, it's recommended for Zone I.


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