Landscaping around Trees: 6 Mistakes to Avoid

Landscaping around Trees: 6 Mistakes to Avoid

Trees are powerful elements in your landscape, and can either pull your entire design together or make everything look out of place. Landscaping around trees is an area of great importance. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid during your landscaping process.

Lack of Planning

Not having a comprehensive plan in your landscaping is like trying to drive cross country without a map. Your plan adds a logical approach to what you are doing. This is especially true when landscaping around trees. Whether you're planting new trees, or planting around the tree, have a plan. This helps your landscape flow, keeps you within your budget, and provides a map for success.

Not Checking for Utilities

One of the most common mistakes people make is believing they know where the underground wires or utilities are. Take the time to call your local utility company and request a check of your land. It may take a few days, but it is very important to your safety. This one mistake can be costly to your wallet, and your health.

Installing the Wrong Tree

Always consider the mature size of any tree before placing it in your landscape. Choose a location for your tree that is large enough to accommodate its mature height and width.

Digging into Roots

Planting flowers around trees is a nice way to add style color to your landscape. However, you can often damage the roots of young trees by planting these flowers. This can cause distress, and even death to the tree. When digging into the ground around a tree, take care not to cut into the roots. Place flowers at least 2 feet from the tree trunk.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan patterson suggests, "It is difficult to get plants to grow under and around trees, especially large trees. Add plenty of organic material around trees and choose hardy, native plants for best results."

Mowing Too Closely to Tree

Mowing and weed eating can damage trees. Mowers can bump into the tree or even cut the roots along the surface of the lawn. The best way to fix this mistake is to clear out the sod around the tree and use some decorative landscape edging as a border. Plant some small flowers inside the border, or put down a layer of mulch.

TIP: Susan advises, "Never put mulch right up against a tree trunk."

Setting Landscaping Elements Too Close

Everyone likes a small seating area under a great shade tree. However, setting the table, chair, bench, or other landscaping element too close to a tree, can turn into a sticky affair. Sap, bird droppings, or other dirt and debris will fall onto your seating, or even yourself. Avoid this mistake by keeping some distance from the tree but still catching some of the shade.