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Retaining walls around trees - too much soil compaction?

13 years ago

In our community there are lot of yard trees with a ring of low, decorative retaining walls (about 5' in diameter) surrounding the trunk. Most of them look neat and beautiful.

We just planted a magnolia leonard messel (currently 5 feet, ultimately 15-20 feet) with the same retaining wall setup. We lay just one level of bricks directly on the sod (using a little fine gravels for leveling). The tree is planted on the same soil level outside the ring.

We are concerned only that whether this 5' ring of retaining wall (with occasional foot traffic on it) would severely compact the soil surrounding the tree and prevent the roots from growing out of the ring. Shall we remove the ring in a few years for the magnolia's soft root to reach out?

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