Tree Planter Boxes #1: Preliminary Design Phase - need some ideas

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Chauffeur posted 06-08-2020 11:54 PM 696 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Tree Planter Boxes series Part 2: Design 90% complete - let's make some sawdust »

Looking for some recommendations here (i.e. seriously need to tap in to this tremendous knowledge base).

My spouse has been raising potted Calamansi plants for over 20 years. It’s a small citrus product native to the Philippines. To me, the juice is the offspring of a lime and orange sexual encounter. Great for marinades and margaritas.

The plants are not very fond of cold temperatures and must be protected or brought inside if the outside air temperatures are projected to be below 32 degrees F. That’s where the challenge starts.

It was not bad dragging these things inside in their youth when the pots were small. That condition does not exist anymore as they have been repetitively re-potted with larger and larger pots. Here’s the current situation:

We have mild winters at our casa, but I still gotta drag these things in to the garage 3-6 times each winter to protect them. And I gotta drag em back out in the morning. It’s pain; my surgically altered back is not a big fan.

Was recently advised (and reminded several times) that the plants are again root bound and need even larger containers. Great…

I did a bit of research and found that potting citrus plants actually dates back to France in the 1700s. It was the solution to a challenge by a King addicted to orange juice. They were originally called Versailles Planter Boxes.

I’ve gotta build several of these. Here’s the current vision for two of them:

I’ve chosen this design to factor in the slope of our driveway and retain the ability to simply modify it if/when we move or the desired planter location changes. Just gotta cut the bottom of the legs.

So her’s my challenge. How am I gonna easily lift and move these things? I don’t want permanent wheels or anything that would detract much from the finished look. Thought about a pallet jack, but I’ve got limited storage space for a single use tool of that nature.

Any ideas? Temporary wheels? I do have a hydraulic floor jack.


-- Dave, Texas

4 comments so far

View sras's profile


6426 posts in 4413 days

#1 posted 06-09-2020 02:17 AM

We move our large pots with a hand truck. Still a bit of a trick to move, but way better than lifting.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

3020 posts in 1446 days

#2 posted 06-09-2020 12:27 PM

Dave – EXCELLENT post !!
I lived in the Philippines for about 6 months and became very familiar
with the Calamansi. they put those on just about every plate when eating out.
how did you come to have the trees ??
I just added three Cara Cara Red Navel Orange Trees to my “farm” and one is in
the ground and I want to put two in planter boxes like you show in your drawing.
I am thinking of building the boxes high enough to get a 2,000 lb motorcycle lift under it.
the standard pallet jack is too wide for the size of box I want to make.
(but, in your case, with smaller boxes, you can measure the inside of a pallet jack to see
if that size will suit your style and size of boxes ~ just use a piece of 4×4 for a higher lift).
I am not a fan of having such nice boxes on wheels or casters.
the back side of the boxes will be fastened with stainless bolts in brass inserts so they
can be removed when it comes time to trim the roots and repot them again.
a lot of good information can be found on
looking forward to following your project !!


-- I am a painter: that's what I do, I like to paint things. --

View scarpenter002's profile


619 posts in 5189 days

#3 posted 06-09-2020 12:45 PM

I second using a hand truck. With your design, you can add a padded fixture to the truck to not mar your new planters.

-- Scott in Texas

View Chauffeur's profile


50 posts in 3175 days

#4 posted 06-20-2020 04:28 PM

Thanks for the recommendations. Gonna take a bit of work, but our motorcycle lift has got a new purpose in life. It will need some type of adapter as the seating surface is not long enough to grab both rails.

-- Dave, Texas

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics