Question about patio close to tree


New Member
Nova Scotia
I have a client who is planning on making a patio area with brick pavers around a mature Copper Beech. She realizes that she needs to keep out away from the tree (drip line at least) as much as possible, but there is an area on one side where the lawn tractor drives out of the barn over the outside of the root zone. She wishs to use crusher dust over the root zone area. I felt that this could settle over time and actually form a barrier and suggested using a more coarse stone which would still have some pore space and wouldn't compact as easy. Maybe going with the stone for the outer area where the tractor would drive and mulch in closer to the trunk.
I would certainly appreciate any suggestions or ideas anyone had. Thanks


New Member
If the tractor path was pre-existing, it shouldn't be a factor. The tree already grew roots around the compacted area.
If it is a new compaction area then it shouldn't be too bad if it is that far out from the trunk and only affecting a small portion of the root zone. I've never gotten too worked up over root zone infringement of less than 15% when no large roots are involved.

I would object loudly if the client wanted to cover the entire root zone with stone. In fact, I would probably refuse the work.


New Member
Fagus sylvatica is very intolerant of compaction, grade changes (+ or -), or root disturbances in general. Without knowing how much encroachment there will be, it is difficult to say what to expect from the tree. If it were my tree I would not allow any root zone encroachments within 10 feet of the dripline.

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Last week I was talking with a buddy about the geo textile fabric that's laid under roadways to give more support. It gives fantastic support to roadways, I can't see why it wouldn't give support to a lawn tractor too.

I think that a coarse landscape fabric could be substituted in a pinch. I think that consulting with a landscape architect to find out how much support is given by pavers would be in order. If the pavers can be laid without intruding on the roots it seems like a viable option.


New Member
Portland OR
What type of environment is the tree growing in? Well-watered with deep roots? Shallow rooted? Grass covering the entire root zone? Just removing the turf would be an improvement. Current health?

Given the debate about mulch/barkdust, perhaps it would be prudent to recommend compost...higher in nutrient matter, finer material for quicker breakdown, etc. If she has irrigation, or waters regularly, temp fluctuations shouldn't be an issue.


New Member
Eugene, OR
Joey, do you have an air spade? depending on your client's budget you could (maybe-can't tell wihtout an actual image,or idea of the soil composition,or drainage) go ahead as planned, with the agreement that every couple of years you do some sort of radial soil replacement therapy. You should also definitely look to geo textiles. Have heard some amazing things about their ability to lessen heavy equipment damage.


Active Member
Watchung, NJ
Stay away from that tree. Beech trees in general, even in the perfect setting, tend to be the most finicky as far as root disturbance.

Chances are that all the new construction will be done and that tree may decline within 3-4 years.

New threads New posts

Kask Stihl NORTHEASTERN Arborists Wesspur Kask Teufelberger Westminster X-Rigging Teufelberger Tracked Lifts Climbing Innovations
Top Bottom