Boulders for boulder wall landscape construction project in Park City, UT

What is a Boulder Wall, and How is it Installed?

Posted : April 1, 2021

A boulder wall is what it sounds like, a wall composed of large rocks and boulders. These walls are primarily constructed to serve as retaining walls to raise planting areas above grade due to high water tables or poor soil quality. The boulder wall provides a place where top-soil that has been purchased for these raised planting areas won’t erode as part of your overall landscape design.

What You Need to Build a Boulder Wall

Luckily boulders are easy to find in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas, so building material will not be a problem. You can find boulders at local stone yards and will have many choices of size, shapes, and colors. The biggest need you’ll have to construct a boulder wall is the heavy equipment you will need to move the boulders and set them into place. You will need to have access to a skid-steer and a mini excavator to help move the boulders where you want them.

Boulders for boulder wall landscape construction project in Park City, UT

Preparing for a Boulder Wall

The most important thing is to select a good location for a boulder wall, sloped surfaces work best, but any site will work. After you have selected a location for your wall, you may want to prepare the area a bit. This is not essential when constructing a boulder wall, but might make the process go smoother—especially if you are using smaller boulders to build the wall.

Excavate the location where you want to build the wall digging a trench that is two-feet wide and about a foot deep where you want it to go—especially if you are looking to have the boulder wall serve as a retaining wall. Level the ground as much as you can and compact the soil in the trench. This will provide a good base for your wall. You can also spread gravel evenly in the trench to improve drainage underneath the wall. Now you are ready to build the wall.

Constructing a Boulder Wall

This is where it helps if you are an experienced heavy-equipment operator to help manipulate and place the boulders, so they fit together a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. If you do not know how to run heavy equipment, you might want to hire a good landscape construction company to put the boulder wall in place.

Wrapping Up Construction

Once you have the boulders all in place, you’ll need to install backfill behind the wall so that it drains properly. Next, lay down some landscape fabric behind (and possibly on top of) the wall. Then, to ensure proper drainage, it is a good idea to backfill the area immediately behind the wall with coarse gravel up to about a foot from the top of the wall and then finish backfilling the wall with soil.

Need Help Constructing a Boulder Wall for Your Landscaping Design?

Let us help you. Our experienced landscape construction team can help you put together a fantastic boulder wall for your landscape design.  For more information, give us a call at 801.569.2383 or click on the green Contact an Expert arrow on any page of our website, and an Aeroscape account manager will get in touch with you.