Retaining Wall

Aiken, SC(Zone 8a)

Hi all.... I have a sloping backyard I am hoping to add a 2ft brick retaining wall to create an area for a firepit. I've used this area for a couple of years but it's just not level or functional. I just removed 6 pine stumps from the area. I've had a 12x5 area staked out but have a few concerns.

First is this wall going to interfere with my Dogwood tree? If I add steps will it hurt the roots or eventually damage the steps? I am also concerned with drainage issues as this is an area in my yard that gets most of the water. I'm just not sure I've allowed enough room for the wall.

Thanks in advance for any Help or Advice you can give me.. I've attached a picture

Thumbnail by DHaley5166
Aiken, SC(Zone 8a)

Another picture from a different view

Thumbnail by DHaley5166
Athens, PA


Welcome to DG. You will find a lot of really nice people here.

How far away will the end of the steps and the retaining wall be from the tree? Perspective being what it is, it is difficult to tell from the pictures. Also, how much foot traffic do you think you will be getting between the wall and the tree?

Aiken, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks for responding. I will be adding two steps that will start a foot from the tree and be 3 feet across. I expect to get very little traffic in that area. I may get heavy traffic when I entertain there a few times a year. I love this dogwood and I'm trying to think of the future location of roots and damage I may cause

Thumbnail by DHaley5166
Lancashire, United Kingdom

Hi DHaley

With regard to the drainage issues. (I'm from the UK so you may need to translate some of the terms I use).
When you dig out for, and build your wall, leave about a shovel width clear behind the wall.
There are then alternative things you can do.

1.Filling the back of the wall with clean 1" stones will reduce the ground pressure on the wall. you can then replace your turf back on top of this. Leaving a hole every 3'0" at ground level through the wall on the lower side will let this drain out.

2.Alternatively you can place a length of 4" flexible land drain pipe in the bottom of your trench before filling with the stone and run this below ground in the lower area to a place where it can discharge.

If drainage in the lower area may be a problem then use method 2 but where you run the pipe underground, do this about 1'0" deep, put about 6" of clean stone over it and again replace your turf on top.

Aiken, SC(Zone 8a)


Thank you!! Method 2 looks like my best solution to the drainage.

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