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Step-By-Step Guide on How to Build a Retaining Wall Around a Tree on a Slope

February 8, 2023 / Written by: West Hills Masonry

February 8, 2023
Written by: West Hills Masonry

A retaining wall raises the level of sophistication in an outdoor space. Along with many other advantages, having these barriers in place may lessen flooding and soil erosion. You should consider carrying out this wall project since it can also increase the value of your home.

But what if your land is sloped and surrounds a tree, how should you proceed? Several aspects of the plan might need to be adjusted, but it is still feasible when done with the help of a professional hardscaping contractor. With these step-by-step instructions, you will learn how to build a retaining wall around a sloped tree.

Step 1: Measure the Desired Distance of the Wall From the Tree

A large nail should be used to secure a piece of string that is as long as the distance from the tree to the desired location for the wall. As a guide for wall construction, pull the nail firmly and use it to ensure a uniform distance from the tree in all directions.

Step 2: Create a Level Ring

Make a circle with a diameter of three to six feet around your tree. Putting your retaining wall on a steep slope requires the trench to be level all the way around. It is important that the ring is large enough to accommodate the stones or pavers you are going to use.

Step 3: Spread Gravel Over the Base

After digging your stepped trench, it is time to lay the gravel foundation. In order to lay a solid foundation, 6 inches of leveled and packed gravel should be poured. Sloped construction will require filling your base of gravel in rows.

Step 4: Add the First Row of Stones

Ensure that your packed gravel base is flat before you install your first row of blocks. When laying each block, ensure that all sides are level before moving on to the next one.

It is imperative that this row is constructed correctly since it forms the foundation of your wall. Once you put your next rows, it is not possible for you to go back and adjust the base. 

Step 5: Spread Rough Gravel

Following the setting and leveling of your first row of blocks, you will be able to see how much space there is between the trench wall and the first row of blocks. Rough gravel will then be used to fill this space and facilitate drainage.

Make your first row of blocks stand out by filling the space in front of them with dirt. Having dirt in front of your wall blocks, along with rough gravel behind them, provides extra strength to your structure.

Step 6: Mix and Apply Cement

Mix masonry cement with water in a bucket. Follow the proportions specified by the manufacturer's instructions on the label.

Apply the cement with a putty knife or offset spatula. The first layer of rocks should be covered by a thin layer of cement.

Step 7: Place the Remaining Layers of Block

Most challenges arise from the foundation layers. However, once the base layers are installed, installing the remaining layers will be straightforward. Stack the blocks one at a time.

In order to avoid joints being lined up, the joints of the second layer should intersect those of the first layer midway. As you go, keep adding drainage gravel behind the rows of blocks.

Ensure no rocks or dirt lie between the layers and that the blocks fit snugly together.

Step 8: Build Your Wall to the Desired Height

Repeat the previously outlined process until the inches of the wall are at the height you want. Since you are building along a slope, the rule of thumb is to ensure your top layer of stone is tall enough to provide about a foot of space between it and the slope.

Step 9: Secure the Blocks at the Top Row

To hold the last row of blocks in place, construction adhesive will be applied. To do so, each block in the top layer should be flipped over, covered with adhesive, and then repositioned. Once again, ensure that dirt and rocks do not get between the layers.

Step 10: Cure and Backfill the Retaining Wall

After the cement wall has dried and cured in accordance with the manufacturer's directions, top off the ring with topsoil or compost.

You can use the additional landscaping space by planting annuals or perennials in the ring. This can also add aesthetic value to your yard.

Let West Hills Masonry Design and Build Your Garden’s Retaining Wall

Adding retaining walls to your property is a great method to raise its worth, usability, and aesthetic appeal. This kind of investing has several benefits. Thus, it is much preferable to work with a professional hardscape contractor right off the bat.

Get in contact with West Hills Masonry if you're ready to have a stunning retaining wall built in your garden. Our crew of contractors and landscaping specialists places the utmost priority on delivering top-notch retaining wall installation services and making sure that clients are satisfied.

Visit our website for more information on our services, or give us a call at 714-519-5009 at West Hills Masonry to arrange a consultation today!

West Hills Masonry
At West Hills Masonry, we blend meticulous design with unparalleled craftsmanship, transforming your vision into a living masterpiece. We are more than service providers; we are your partners in crafting spaces that inspire, comfort, and enchant. We seamlessly blend comprehensive design planning with the creation of functional hardscape and landscape living areas, delivering complete and usable outdoor spaces.

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At West Hills Masonry, we believe in creating outdoor spaces that reflect your unique style and enhance your lifestyle. Let's collaborate to transform your outdoor dreams into reality. Reach out to us today!
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