How to build a tree ring

How To Build a Tree Ring On a Slope

May 6, 2022 May 6, 2022

How to build a tree ring on a slope. Plus a few other tips and tricks you’ll want to know for a healthy tree.

After five years of turning this house into a home, the front yard was looking a little bare. Sure, our grass is nice. The kids run around and get lawn clippings all over their wet feet as we wash the cars in the driveway.

But it’s empty. It needs shade, shrubs, trees and defiantly some character.

My husband would disagree. To him adding anything is just one more obstacle for him to mow around. So what did we do?

We bought a tree.

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    It really didn’t take much convincing before he said yes. Besides being a bit inconvenient to mow around, he seemed to be looking forward to a tree with a bit of autumn color to liven our New England souls, in the south.

    But when it came to the tree ring and flower bed, we had very different ideas in mind. Not only did we have different ideas, the conversation came to a screeching halt when he wanted to built it into the hillside and I had zero idea of what he meant by that.

    This is our own personal experience. Be sure to seek professional advise and always practice tool safety.


    • Concrete garden wall blocks (we used approximately 50)
    • Leveling sand (optional)
    • String or measuring tape


    • Shovel
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Gardening spade
    • Level
    • Brick chisel (optional)
    • Sledge hammer (optional)
    Brick tree ring retaining wall on a small slope

    Call 811 before you dig

    Before you begin your project be sure to call 811 and have them mark any underground utility lines in the area. The call is quick and easy and within a few days someone will come by to spray (or flag) where the utilities are. This is a free service and necessary to make sure you’re not cutting through or digging too close to water lines, electrical, natural gas, internet ect.

    Lay the brick foundation

    Decide on the location, taking into account root growth and size of a fully mature tree. Roughly lay out the bricks to the desired size of the brick tree ring. Be sure to give the base of the tree plenty of room to grow along with additional room for any flowers or greenery for a tree ring flower bed.

    How to plant a tree

    • Dig a hole 2-3 times bigger than the root ball
    • Remove tree from container and place in the hole, holding it at the base of the tree.
    • Make sure the tree is level by examining it from several angles.
    • Fill with dirt – just to the top of the root ball.

    Making a perfect circle

    Once the tree is planted you’ll want to adjust the bricks to make a perfect circle. You can do this by using a measuring tape and measuring from the base of the tree to the bricks.

    You can also use a similar method by attaching a string to the base of the tree and measuring around in the same manner.

    Start at the lowest point

    Starting at the lowest point, dig out the grass and set the first brick, keeping it level as you do so. At this point you can choose to use leveling sand (best for larger projects) or with something as small as our tree ring, leftover soil from planting the tree.

    Continue with this pattern, digging down and leveling out, until the last brick begins to disappear into the hillside.

    You can also gently tap the bricks with a sledge hammer to set them in place.

    Continue with the next level, offsetting the bricks as you go.

    At some point you might need to use a brick chisel for a brick to fit into place. Gently chisel a portion of the brick away and continue with the next level.

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    Tips for a healthy tree

    -Most trees have surface roots within the first 12 inches of the soil. When planting flowers and shrubs at the base of a tree, be sure to plant away from tree trunk to avoid damage to the tree’s roots.

    -Do not pile mulch or soil at the base of the tree trunk as it can cause the tree to rot over time.

    Tree ring flower bed

    In addition to not planting too close to the tree’s base, you’ll also want to take into consideration the type of flowers you’ll be planting. With our young tree it provides very little shade, so we can get away with flowers and plants that call for full sun. However, as the tree grows it’ll provide more shade and we’ll need to switch to greenery that is more shade tolerant.

    Landscape fabric vs. No landscape fabric- Landscape fabric acts as a weed barrier. In our experience it works well in the beginning but over time weeds begin to grow through and tear the fabric as we weed the garden. You’ll also need to be careful with how much water can penetrate through the fabric as the tree will need all the water it can get, to thrive.

    This tree ring and flower garden was perfect for an easy weekend DIY project. It may be a little bit of an obstacle to mow around but with the tree ring retaining wall built into the slope, it looks purposeful and adds a bit of character.

    Over time this Autumn Blaze Maple tree will grow up to 50 feet tall, giving us great shade in the summer and beautiful foliage in the fall. The perfect medium size tree for a medium size front yard.

    Best Wishes ~ Sara

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    How to Make a Brick Tree Ring on Uneven Ground

    After I repaired our crumbling brick garden border (read the tutorial here) it was time to turn our attention to the brick tree ring.

    Pin this tutorial for later! Share it with your friends!

    Yep. The brick wall around the tree in the front yard is falling over too.


    For the same reasons why the brick garden border flopped over. I built it quick instead of correctly. I never got back to “fixing it right later” because I wanted to get the reclaimed bricks out of the trunk of the car as soon as possible. I also built it too high. Not to mention, it would have been better to create a circular tree ring with keystone shaped bricks or stones instead of the free rectangle shaped bricks I used because did I mention free vintage bricks?

    Another factor is I didn’t build my tree ring level but to the the slope in my yard for drainage.

    Brick tree ring Before

    Let’s fix that.

    How to Build a Brick Tree Ring Boarder

    You will need:


    Leveling Sand (this is the kind I used)– mistake #1 was not using leveling sand the first time

    Paver lock sand – mistake #2. This is a Polymeric sand that acts like glue after you wet it.

    Tamper (it looks like this) – check if  you can rent these or check one out at your local tool lending library for free!

    Wood stakes



    Tape measure or ruler

    Paint brush


    Update 4/24/2019: Eventually the ground shifted with the weather and so did the bricks in my tree ring. I recommend using this Dimex EasyFlex Flex Paver Landscape   behind the pavers for stability unless you like rebuilding your stone garden boarders every two years.

    Disclosure: I am including affilaite links in this post for your convenience.

    Do it:
    1. Dig a shallow trench in the dirt with the shovel where you want your garden border. I completed this step the first time around. All I had to do is unstack the current border and clean it up a bit.

    2. Make the Guide: Place the wood stakes next to the edge of where you want the garden border. Tie the time to the stakes level and at the uniform height you want the finished border. Since my yard slopes downward slightly for drainage purposes, I will need to build my tree ring with one side of the bricks sitting higher or lower than the other side ( s) of the tree ring. This is why creating the guide and doubling  check that the guide is consistent across several points of the circle with a level is crucial. Learn from my previous mistake friends.

    3. Place a shovelful of leveling sand in the trench. Not doing this was my first mistake. The leveling sand will help you when it is time to jiggle the brick or stone a bit to make it level when you are building your border. it will also allow the finished stone or brick border to shift as the ground freezes and thaws in cold weather.

    4. Tamp the sand smooth with the tamper.

    5. Place the first row of bricks or stone in the trench according to your guide rope and double check each brick or stone with the level. You  made need to wiggle the stone or brick a bit or add or remove a bit of sand underneath the brick if you need to adjust the height and/or make it level.

     On the level!

    6.  My vintage bricks are uneven with age and not flat. I added a layer of leveling sand to the top of the first layer of bricks. I also added handfuls of paver lock sand for good measure since my bricks are not perfectly flat. You may not have to add the paver lock sand if you are working with identical pavers.

    7. Place and offset the second row of bricks on top of the first checking that each brick is level and at an even height to your twine guide.

    I use a half of brick on the ends to keep the wall nice and flush.


    8. Brush paver lock sand onto and into where each brick or stone meets with the paint brush. Make sure you fill each crack/seam with as much sand as possible because this is the “glue” that will hold your border together and keep it from eventually flopping over.

    Brush! Brush!

    9. Water the seams of the garden border to activate the paver lock sand. You don’t need to completely soak it with the garden hose. Wetting the sand so it is thoroughly damp is fine.

    I wet the bricks and sand with a watering can and water from our rain barrel. Why? That’s what my rain barrel is for that’s why!

    10. Stand back and admire your work!

    Looking for more garden border ideas? Check out the following options - and more! - below!

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    How to make a wooden ring with your own hands

    The beauty of jewelry is determined not only by the value of the materials from which they are made. In addition, products made of precious stones and metals are of considerable value. It was this factor that caused the appearance of jewelry, which we today call costume jewelry. It turned out that almost any material, including wood, is suitable for this purpose. In this article we will try to figure out how to make wooden rings with your own hands.


    1. Wooden jewelry
    2. Methods for making rings from wood
    3. Making rings from solid wood
    Wooden rings for all fingers

    Wood is an exceptionally malleable material. In addition, many of its varieties are very beautiful, with a unique texture and excellent pastel colors. Therefore, the tree began to be used for making jewelry a long time ago - even before the term "jewelry" was coined. The most traditional accessories in the production of which wood is used are:

    1. beads;
    2. pendants;
    3. earrings.

    Making wooden rings with your own hands is more difficult than all the above jewelry. If you get a ring, then you can easily make any jewelry items from wood. It's not that difficult, but it requires maximum accuracy and a little patience.

    Methods for making wooden rings

    Jewelry made of wood has become very popular in recent years, but the cost of author's works is quite high, so many people are interested in how to make wooden rings with their own hands. There are three ways to make them:

    1. solid wood;
    2. from glued wood;
    3. made from a combination of wood and epoxy resin.

    The latest technology is the most complex, but it allows you to create the most original products. Hardwood of valuable and exotic varieties is best suited for wooden jewelry:

    1. rosewood;
    2. walnut;
    3. amaranth;
    4. white and black hornbeam;
    5. Karelian birch;
    6. oak;
    7. acacia;
    8. sycamore;
    9. fruit trees, etc.

    Roots and outgrowths (burls) of walnut, maple, linden and other tree species are of particular value. They are distinguished by a unique texture and color, as well as special strength. So the choice of material for wooden jewelry is almost unlimited.

    Making solid wood rings

    Solid wood rings can be made from cross and longitudinal cuts of wood. The thickness of the original workpiece should be in the range of 15–20 mm.

    Blank for wooden rings

    Do-it-yourself wooden ring is created in several stages:

    1. first we cut the outer diameter of the ring about a quarter of the thickness;

      Ring cutting by hand

    2. drill a central hole of the desired size;
    3. we complete cutting out the outer part;

      Second stage of wooden ring preparation

    4. we carry out rough grinding of all surfaces with a drill with a nozzle of 60 units;

      Multifaceted wooden ring

    5. we finish with a nozzle of 220 units to obtain the desired width and the desired ring size;
    6. we carry out the final finishing of the surface manually using sandpaper 400 units;

      Sanding the edges of a wooden ring

    7. we varnish and the ring is ready.

      Wooden ring lacquered

    If you want to make a wooden ring in the shape of a ring with your own hands, the initial blank must be thicker. It will take much longer to work on such a product. If desired, the ring can be decorated with relief engraving.

    Making rings from glued wood

    This method differs from the previous one only in the preparation. It is most often made in three layers. To do this, take thin (5–10 mm) longitudinal or transverse sections of wood (you can use different varieties, which will only add originality to the product). The sections are glued into a monolith, due to which the workpiece becomes much stronger, and allowed to dry completely. After that, do-it-yourself wooden rings are made with the same procedure as for solid wood products.

    Making rings from a combination of wood and epoxy resin

    Wooden rings with resin

    Epoxy resin is a polymeric material with universal application. One of its properties is optical transparency - after solidification, it resembles glass. This property is used, among other things, to make wooden rings with epoxy resin and other jewelry of this kind. Nowadays, they are very popular because of their unusualness and originality.

    Since these products are quite expensive, it is an incentive to make them yourself. We will try to answer the question of how to make wooden rings with epoxy resin with our own hands using the example of products similar to those made by Secret Wood (Canada). Work also begins with the preparation of a blank for a future product, and this process is carried out as follows:

    1. take a plank 15–20 mm thick and clamp it in a vise using three wooden blocks of the same section, located in a triangle;
    2. slowly squeeze the vise until the plank breaks, the break line becomes the main decorative element of the ring;
    3. place the plank in the filling container;
    4. we prepare the epoxy composition and pour it into the prepared container, it will take a day for the final curing;
    5. dyes, glitters are also added to the epoxy composition, thanks to which you can create the effect of sky, water, snow, etc.

    Further operations are carried out in the same sequence with ti, as when using the technologies already described above. The only difference is that epoxy wood rings require polishing at the final stage of production, which provides the resin with absolute purity and transparency. By the way, to create such jewelry, you should use special jewelry resins, such as Pebeo Crystal Resin. Jewelry made of wood with your own hands is a guarantee of its uniqueness. No one else will have a ring like you make.

    How to make a ring out of wood. +Video

    by Alexey | For Children Crafts For Friends Gifts For Lovers For Men For Women Workshop | Sunday, 15 May 2016

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    🇺🇦 Help for the army, volunteers and doctors.

    I have been developing this method over many months, given the size of my workshop and budget. It was practice in perfecting the task, not in speed of manufacture or in quantity, perfecting the creation of an object with one's own hands.

    This is by no means the fastest way to make a wooden ring. I find that using hand tools gives the best end result. I spent about a year developing this method with a lot of trial and error. I used hole saws and drills to drill out the inner diameter of my rings. This method was much faster, but I found that the heat and vibration caused by the drilling caused the structure of the wood to weaken. With this workshop, I want to demonstrate the most satisfying way for me to make a wooden ring.

    • Jigsaw;
    • Hand drill;
    • Round file;
    • Sandpaper with grit - 220;
    • Various sanding sponges;
    • Tung oil and polishing wax.

    • We take our wooden blank and make markings;
    • We drill a hole inside the drawn circle;
    • Using a jigsaw, carefully cut around the circumference;
    • We clean the inside of the circle with a file;
    • Next, cut out the outer part of the ring;
    • We clean the ends on sandpaper;
    • We bring the ring to the final state with sandpaper and grinding rings;
    • Treated with tung oil and wax;
    • The ring is ready!

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