Dos And Don'ts When Landscaping Around Trees


Trees are a major visual element in the yard, so landscaping around them to improve the tree's appearance is a good idea. There are a few strategies that work nicely, as well as some that are best avoided.

Do Skip the Raised Bed

A raised bed encircling a tree is pretty on paper, but the excess soil can smother surface roots and cause the tree's health to decline. Furthermore, stacking soil against the trunk will lead to rot and disease problems that can kill a tree. Instead, install a low border around the perimeter of the tree, no more than a few inches tall. You can add a thin layer of compost to amend the existing soil but don't build the soil up too high or stack it against the trunk.

Don't Forget to Mulch

Mulching over tree roots is a good idea. Mulch isn't as dense as soil, so it still allows oxygen and water to seep down to the roots easily. It also prevents water loss from evaporation and smothers many weedy plants. Mulch is often used around flowers planted around a tree, but you can also use decorative wood or rock mulch on its own to finish the landscaping underneath a tree. 

Do Choose Plants Wisely

Not all plants are well suited for use under a tree. First and foremost, the plants selected must thrive in partial to full shade. They should also have relatively shallow roots and require only minimal nutrients and water, otherwise the plants may compete with the tree. Green foliage plants, like hostas, or creeping groundcovers, such as thyme or ground ivies, are good options beneath many types of trees.

Don't Use Weed Block Fabric

Weed fabrics and plastic may seem like a good idea at first when it comes to keeping weeds and grasses from invading the area under your tree, but they quickly become a nightmare. Plants will eventually push through them, shredding the weed block and rendering it useless. The fabric or plastic can also become entangled in surface roots or block sufficient water from absorbing into the soil. Instead, dig out turf and weeds by hand before you begin landscaping around the tree.

Do Consider Accents

Accent pieces are an excellent way to make the landscaping under a tree feel finished. These accents can be simply pretty, such as a bit of statuary or a whimsical fairy door arrangement against the trunk. Accents can also be utilitarian, such as the placement of a bird bath or a small garden bench. Accent lighting is also a nice option, as uplighting a tree adds landscaping interest even after the sun sets.

Contact a landscaping service to learn more ideas for beautifying the areas around your trees.


13 July 2023

reducing the threat of standing trees around your home

I love and appreciate all of the trees around my home, but I do worry about what will happen during a strong storm. Will I get rudely awakened by by a tree crashing through the roof into my bedroom? Will a tree fall and take down the power lines that my family relies on each day to live our comfortable life? This blog will show you what you need to know before you go cutting down all of the trees on your property to maintain a safe living space and advice for picking and choosing the trees that will remain.