How to Landscape Around Trees

By on February 4, 2020 in Backyards, Gardening with 0 Comments

Doing some landscaping around trees, is a great way to hide tree roots and create a garden focal point. Mastering how to landscape around trees is essential for any homeowners that are landscaping their yards. Here are some of the best landscaping ideas that will help ensure your trees (and the rest of your lawn) stand out.

how to landscape around trees

Selecting the right plants

Just because the area underneath your tree is shady does not mean you cannot add a few plants around it.  Another part of learning how to landscape around trees involves choosing the right plants. Be sure any plants you choose have the following qualities:

  • Shade tolerance. Look for ones designated for full or partial shade.
  • Shallow roots. You won’t want to dig too deeply around trees as doing so could disturb their own roots.
  • Reasonable watering requirements. Any specimens you plant must compete with the tree’s larger root system for water. That doesn’t mean your plants must be drought hardy. Rather, it means you should avoid ones that might require watering on a daily basis.

What are the right plant choices

If you are just discovering how to landscape around trees, you may be wondering what specific plants make good choices. Here are a few you can consider:

  • Carolina allspice
  • Japanese painted fern
  • Black snakeroot
  • Foxglove
  • Yucca
  • Golden scepter hosta
  • Guacamole hosta

Planting spring bulbs

If you are wondering how to landscape around trees (and also enjoy spring flowers).  You may want to consider bulb flowers such as a tulip or daffodil. Although these specimens do require full sun, they also bloom in spring before trees have fully sprouted their leaves.  Making them ideal for planting under deciduous trees.

If you are interested in knowing how to landscape around trees using spring bulbs? It’s actually very easy as all you need to do is place a few bulbs in the ground in fall. Come spring, you will see an amazing display of color that will return year after year.

How to plant correctly

Now that you know which plants to use, the next step in knowing how to landscape around trees involves placing them correctly. First, determine the arrangement of your plants while they are still in their containers.

For the best possible visual effect, place taller plants in the back and shorter ones in front. Remember to leave enough room in between plants for each one to expand. Once you’ve layed out the arrangement how you want.  Take a quick picture so that you can then plant your specimens accordingly.

Begin near the base of your tree, digging only as deep as needed to cover the roots. Place each plant securely in the ground and stamp the dirt down around its base. Do not add any more dirt than necessary because doing so may suffocate your plant.

Continue until all of your plants have been placed and then water lightly. Now you are ready to add mulch around your trees and plants.

Choose the right mulch to landscape around trees

When learning how to landscape around trees, an important step involves choosing the right mulch. Ideally, you’ll want an organic material such as tree bark, shredded wood, or pine straw. Avoid artificial materials such as shredded rubber or plastic as these can contain harmful chemicals that may leach into your soil.

Even so, gravel or landscaping rocks can be an effective form of mulch because they are attractive and also provide adequate weed control.

landscaping trees backyard

Adding mulch correctly

A common mistake that many people make involves adding too much mulch. So that you do not overdo it, keep the following things in mind:

  • Never cover the base of your tree with mulch. Leave a four to six-inch ring in the center of your mulch to allow your trunk to breathe.
  • Cover an area that is between one-half and one-third the diameter of your tree.
  • Place two to three inches of mulch in the area. Gently fan the matter out so that the layer gradually gets thinner as it reaches the outer edge.
  • Add more mulch once or twice a year as needed to maintain the desired thickness.
  • Avoid covering plants or their base with mulch. As with your trees, leave a small around around the center free of mulch to allow for good airflow.

Adding and choosing a border

Now that you have the right plants and mulch, there is one more step in learning how to mulch around trees. That step involves choosing and placing a border. The right border will help add curb appeal; however, it is a great backyard landscaping idea as well. Not only does it add visual interest, but it also gives your plants their own defined space to grow in.

When it comes to a border, you have a nearly endless selection of materials to choose from:

  • Rocks or boulders
  • Bricks
  • Stone pavers
  • Cedar or wood fencing
  • Concrete
  • Plastic or vinyl fence
  • Plastic edging

One thing you will find when you are learning how to mulch around trees is that no one particular border is right for everyone. Instead, you should choose one that most closely matches your home’s exterior as well as any other hardscaping. Use your imagination to come up with new and creative landscaping ideas in order to find the border that is just right for you.

Installing a landscape border around trees

If you are wondering how to landscape around trees, you may also be curious about installing a border. The type you choose will largely determine how it is installed; however, any of them are easy DIY projects.

Some types such as plastic or wooden fencing have metal stakes that allow you to simply stick them into the ground. Others like concrete or stone pavers are installed by placing them in the desired pattern and then overlapping blocks on subsequent rows.

Plastic edging is often used when you desire a more open look or would like to make mowing a little easier. This type requires digging a tiny trench and then gently placing the edging inside it. You can then place a bit of mulch over top of it or leave the very top edge of it exposed.

Knowing how to landscape around trees is easy

Discovering how to landscape around trees is really not all that difficult when you keep the above things in mind. Use your own backyard landscaping ideas to come up with a look that perfectly complements your own personality and accents your trees. Your efforts will provide you with very pleasing results for years to come.

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About the Author

About the Author: Michael Wuze is a regular content contributor to Living Out The Back, which was started as a way to share the best of what life has to offer outside your home. The backyard is the one area so many people don't enjoy that we want to help you with. Everyone should enjoy their backyard. .


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