The Q&A Archives: how do these roots grow???

Questioner's Location: canyon lake, Ca
Date: May 9, 2008

Question: Hello... I just recently bought two dwarf citrus trees (Mandarin (honey) and a Thornless Mexican Lime). I want to plant them in our new planter, but I don't know how the roots grow. We just recently graded our backyard and put up a retaining wall (about 3- 3 1/2 ft tall) to create a planter along the fence line. So what I am wondering is... if I plant those trees in that planter, will the roots damage the retaining wall in any way or potentially knock it out? And how far apart should I plant the trees (because I don't want them to breed together)? Thank you so much... I would greatly appreciate any information you may have. Have a great day Smiling Smiling
-Heather Canyon Lake, Ca. 92587

Answer: Trees typically have root systems that grow slightly beyond the canopy of the tree. I don't expect your dwarf trees will cause problems in your raised planter or the retaining wall because the trees themselves will remain small. Your citrus trees will not cross-pollinate so growing them in close proximity won't change the types or flavors of the fruits they produce. Give them enough room to grow without crowding, by planting them 5-6 feet apart.

Best wishes with your new trees!

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