A big tree, an abandoned yard, and poor drainage. Where do I start?

Lori Olson
3 months ago
last modified: 3 months ago

I have a small urban backyard with a large Maple in the center. We're finding roots everywhere and believe it's causing some old concrete pavers to buckle, with water draining toward our porch steps, causing the porch steps to slowly sag.

We recently tried to plant some veggies and stumbled upon a hidden drain (where the planter is now). We've adjusted it to better ensure that it water can drain into it properly, but the grading still isn't enough to have this area fully drain. Long term, we'd love a blue stone patio, clean up the garden areas for planting, and have an area to comfortably park a small car (area behind the tree). You can see that the concrete pavers are crumbling.

We're torn- do we tear down this old maple? The shade will be nice in the summer, but concerned the rooting issue will only worsen and not be worth adding a patio before ripping out the tree. I'm anticipating the area to be hard to grade correctly with the tree still in place. What does everyone think? Any general suggestions on what to do with this space?

Hidden drain is under the planter, which is resting on some stones. Removing one of the edging stones improved the drainage but didn't eliminate it completely.

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