Help with patio root intrusion

TahoeJeffAugust 6, 2014

Hey gang,

I would like to put in a patio, and I need to level the site out. Because it sits atop a slight slope, I want to frame it with some retaining mechanism. Erosion isn't a huge concern because the dirt here is extremely rocky and has excellent drainage. I'd probably frame with pressure treated 2x6. Then fill with the usual gravel, sand, pavers.

There are two trees right up against one edge of where the patio will go, and the trunk/root system is in the way of where the 2x6 would lay. I am thinking I can probably just notch out the trunk/roots so that my 2x6 can sit level. I'm curious what the long-term effect of this will be.

Will the roots push the 2x6 out of the way substantially? Or will they simply congeal around it? The latter would be ideal, providing additional support. And for the sake of the fence, which it's slowly growing into, that would be nice too.

The tree in question is a black cottonwood (pictured). There is also a pine tree I'll need to notch, with a very minimal amount of encroachment.

Any advice appreciated!

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submit a picture that shows how the WHOLE patio will lay in the space and include the tree problem in the picture.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:48PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how big is the patio ... and how much damage have you already done to the surface tree roots...

you might want to ask in the tree forum.. what the odds of killing the trees are ... rather than asking the cement guys if they would notch the 2 x 6s ....


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:52PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Black cottonwoods are fast growing .
If you knotch out the tree for the 2x6 the tree will grow around and push up/ out the board, probably in a matter of a few years, that's how fast they grow up in Tahoe.
Besides being fast growers they are brittle and messy, but not quite as bad as the pine trees that drip the gooie sap all over the place and then gets tracked into the house.
( ah, the pleasures of landscaping up in Tahoe)

You don't have many options available in regards to retainment and the Tahoe requirement for permeable surfaces, so your proposal sounds like the most cost effective one.

The guys at The Rock Garden might have some suggestions ( I'm assuming you're up in Tahoe by your handle name)

Without seeing the entire site I might suggest setting your finished grade a little higher than what the site and tree can accommodate so when you have to reset the pavers due to root invasion a few years from now you have a little extra sub-base to fiddle with when resetting the pavers.

If you have to submit to the TRPA, good luck. They can make the process expensive and a PIA. I try to avoid them at all costs.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:01PM
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