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- May 12, 2020 at 11:19 am #585220
I came across this beautiful tree garden idea and wanted to make my own.
Apparently, if you do this incorrectly, you can actually suffocate the tree and kill it. First of all, whether you can do this depends on your area/climate.
Decorative rocks and stones are nice, but if you live in a hot area, the rocks/stones retain the heat – which then has a tendency to fry the roots of the tree/shrubs, suffocating, and killing them.
The trick is to NOT raise the soil level around the trunk. Leave the area around the trunk itself bare of extra soil or mulch.
Be very careful digging around the roots when planting under a tree. Use a trowel or digging knife, rather than a large shovel. If you encounter a root, move to another spot. Also, avoid damaging the bark at the base of the tree.
Before choosing plants, observe the amount of shade under the tree at different times of the day. Deep-shade plants such as ferns and hostas can thrive nearest the trunk, while semi-sun varieties like lily of the valley and coral bells can grow under the perimeter of the tree’s branches.
Mulch can damage trees. Too much mulch applied over the root ball or resting against the trunk (see right photos) can cause problems for trees, because roots often grow up and into the mulch causing stem girdling roots which can kill trees. Instead, mulch no more than 3″ deep and spread it out so there isn’t any on the root ball itself.
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