Retaining wall around a beech tree
October 24, 2004
A big challenge to building a railroad in the New Hampshire woods is trees - they're everywhere!
The stretch of track that will run between the old barn and the big trestle will be along the side of a hill.
In most places it's easy enough to cut into the the side of the hill, but at one point the trackline runs directly thru the center of an 18" diameter beech:
I'm not willing to cut down such a beautiful tree, so I decided to build a retaining wall and swing the track out and around it.
This shows the trackline. The red dots are the bottoms of the stakes, which I've shifted to the right in order to get around the beech (behind the blue X - there's a 4" tree in front of it)
(Note: click on any image to see a larger version)
I rented a one-man post hole digger - power tools are the only way to go!
I placed 4x4 posts in all the holes, then cut them to length (with a chainsaw, of course!).
I nailed 1x8's to the posts, and it's done!
All that's left is to backfill the thing, which I'll do when I rent a tractor to grade this stretch.
The view from the other end, looking west. Post holes are under the red dots.
The finished wall, looking west.
There's about 4 feet between the tree and wall, which will be just enough to sneak the tracks thru.
A view of the posts from below.
The wall is about 2 feet tall below the tree.
The finished wall, from below.