Redwood retaining lines on a hillside slope in the San Rafaels.


Installing retaining lines and terraces on your landscape slope.


One of the most important elements in a landscape is a stabilized slope.  We are blessed with hills in the Southern California Foothill area. They add a beautiful aesthetic with local flora and fauna. Although some people do not like having native animals around – I hear there’s not much life on the moon… but I digress. One real issue with having a slope on your property is the inevitable erosion that occurs. What to do? Well, there are a few ways to stabilize a slope and the best answer will depend on your specific site conditions.  We are going to take a quick look at one of the options, which is terracing.

Terracing is the construction of retaining lines on a slope to help hold the soil in place. These lines can be made from different materials such as concrete, wood, or stone. Treated redwood is one of the most popular choices. It looks nice and is, generally, less expensive than concrete or stone. It usually does not last as long as concrete or stone, however, when well constructed with quality materials, it will still last many years.

The terraces are constructed in a line (often multiple lines) going parallel with the downward grade of the slope. Depending on the material used, the lines are held in place with anchor points such as rebar, stakes, metal poles, or concrete footings. The soil area directly behind the retaining line is often graded to level, or near level. This is not always the case, but when it is done it can help turn what was a steep slope into more usable yard space. You can put various plants or even an edible garden or fruit tree orchard. Leveling terrace plans is not usually necessary, and they are often left at a slight decline, on which plants will add even more erosion control and beauty. There are many possibilities.

Terracing a slope is very labor intensive work, and we’ll be happy to do it for you! Contact us today for a complementary consultation for your landscape.