How To Install Retaining Wall Block Around A Tree

Installing a retaining wall around a tree is not difficult, but it does require some thought. Retaining walls are meant to hold back earth that would otherwise spill out onto the ground, so they’re typically installed on sloping land. They’re also used to reinforce the soil around trees, which can be damaged by heavy rains and strong winds.

If you are planning to build a retaining wall around a tree, the process can be done with some simple tools and materials. You will need to have some experience in building retaining walls before attempting this project. Installing a retaining wall block around a tree is a great way to add some style and flair to your yard. You can use it to create a garden path, or you can use it to build an entire patio area for entertaining.

Retaining walls are a great way to beautify your yard, but they also have an important, practical purpose: they help prevent erosion. They’re often used to create level areas and add definition to gardens or other parts of the landscape. If you have a large tree in your yard and want to install a retaining wall around it, you’ll need to follow a few extra steps than if you were building one around another object. Read on for the details.


Retaining walls are structures that hold back soil. They’re used to prevent erosion and keep soil from washing away, as well as to hold soil in place so that trees and other plants can grow. Retaining walls come in a variety of materials—concrete, brick or stone are some common ones—and have an even wider range of uses: they can be used around pools or driveways; to create walkways; to preserve a slope on a hillside for use as a garden.

Remove Dirt and Roots

  • To remove dirt and roots, use a shovel or pickax.
  • If you’re using a shovel to remove the dirt, dig down about two inches below where you want your block to go. Then use the blade of your shovel to scrape back upward along the side of your excavation line (the area where you don’t want any earth). This will help ensure that there won’t be any loose soil during installation later on; it also makes for much neater results when laying up new blocks against an existing wall.
  • For roots in particular, consider renting or borrowing a root rake beforehand—they are designed specifically for this purpose! With this tool in hand, simply rake away at embedded roots until they’re fully exposed and severed from their source of nourishment (the tree itself).

Dig a Trench

Digging a trench to surround your tree is the first step in any retaining wall project. You’ll need to dig out an area wide and deep enough so that you can lay your blocks with ease, without them overlapping each other. The depth of the trench depends on how much soil you need to remove in order for your block to be level with the ground around it.

You may choose to use a shovel, pickaxe or post hole digger depending on how big your tree is and how much space it takes up. If you have access to power tools such as augers or shovels, then these will also work just fine for digging out trenches.

Lay a Layer of Gravel

  • To begin, use a level to determine the proper height for your retaining wall. Then, use a tape measure and shovel to mark out the area where you want your retaining wall to be constructed.
  • Next, use a wheelbarrow or hoe to lift gravel into place along your marked perimeter—the goal is to build up at least two feet of gravel around each side of your tree (and make sure there’s enough room between it and other plants!)
  • Finally, rake over the gravel so that it levels out nicely with the rest of your yard

Add Soil

To install the retaining wall block, you’ll need to add soil. Soil is important because it supports the weight of your retaining wall and allows it to evenly distribute pressure from winds and rain.

  • The soil should be well-drained, meaning it has enough drainage holes in it so that water can easily pass through. It also shouldn’t have any large rocks or roots in it—those will cause problems when you pour concrete over them later on.
  • The soil needs to be compacted down firmly after laying out your wall blocks so they won’t move around when you put them into place. If you don’t compact well enough, then there’ll be gaps between each block where water can pool up over time (which could lead to erosion).
  • The levelness of your ground surface matters too: if there’s a slope along one side somewhere near where your new retaining wall will go then that area will become less stable than others since gravity will pull down on whatever material happens to get caught up there first when storm tides come rolling into shorefront property locations such as yours (which could lead again). Such situations may require additional work such as adding extra support structures beneath those areas where gravity pulls hardest due primarily

Use Geotextile Barrier

In addition to the retaining wall block, it is necessary to lay down geotextile barrier. Geotextile is a fabric that can be used as a barrier to prevent soil erosion and separate soil from water or other substances. It is commonly used in construction projects, such as building a retaining wall around your tree.

Geotextile comes in many different types and materials. It can be made of rubber or plastic, among other things. The main purpose of using geotextile is to protect pipes from leaks while preventing roots from growing into them, which would cause major damage to your home’s plumbing system over time. It also protects against chemicals seeping through the ground into groundwater sources when working with things like pesticides or fertilizers on your property; this helps prevent environmental damage from happening near where humans live because there will not be any runoff causing pollution downstream along nearby streams or rivers further inland where drinking water may get affected by what happens closer toward those sources instead.”

Fill with Gravel

If you have gravel or concrete blocks, use a rake to level the gravel. Once it is flat, set up a level at one end of your wall and use a carpenter’s level to check for level. Fill in any low spots with extra gravel until the top of your wall is level with the ground. Use a shovel to fill in any gaps between stones and between stones and soil (if you are using natural stone).

When all holes have been filled around your tree, check again with your carpenter’s level every few feet along the length of your wall (use multiple levels if necessary). Make sure that it is still perfectly even all around by checking both sides of where you planted your tree against each other—if any side seems high or low compared to another side, remove more fill material from underneath that area until both sides are evenly spaced from one another.

Install the First Layer of Block

The first layer of block needs to be level. It is important that you do this step right, because it will set the tone for the rest of your wall. The block must be level with the top of your trench, but also with the top of your ground and/or existing ground if you are working on an existing retaining wall. If all three layers aren’t level, then you will have a very difficult time creating a nice looking finished product that matches up with any other walls in your yard or house!

The best way to make sure everything is level is by using some sort of helper who can hold up one end while you put another one down:

Install the Second Row and Up

The next step is to install the second row of block. Once again, you’ll need to make sure that each piece of block is level with each other and also level with your first row of blocks.

Once you’ve got your second row in place, it’s time for the third row. This process is exactly the same as installing your first two rows were: lay down your pieces and adjust them until they’re level with each other and with previous rows.

The fourth row can be installed just like the third one — laying down pieces and making sure they’re level both horizontally and vertically.

You’ll follow this same process for installing every additional row up until number six; then if necessary, add some mortar between them (but only if necessary).

Retaining walls add more to your yard than just curb appeal.

Retaining walls add more to your yard than just curb appeal. They can be used for many different purposes, from creating a patio or garden to adding extra parking space in the driveway. Retaining walls are simple and easy to install, so you can create the perfect backyard for your family today.


Remember, this is a long-term project. You want to make sure that you do the best job possible so that you don’t have any issues down the road. If you are unsure about how to install a retaining wall or if it’s too much for you to handle, contact a landscaper in your area and have them take care of it for you. They will be able to get the job done and give you some advice on where they think a good spot would be in your yard.

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