QUESTION #9: Site preparation under trees
Any tips for preparing planting beds under trees in general?
-- Portia for the Louisville (KY) Show Me Tell Me group.
The best thing under trees is wood chip mulch (or other mulch), in a donut shape
ring, not touching the trunk, as far out as possible---to the drip line if possible
or beyond. The next best thing is groundcover/perennials PLANTED AT THE SAME TIME
AS THE TREE. If you plant perennial
groundcover (or annuals for that matter) after the tree has matured you risk
injuring the essential root system of the tree.
Bulbs are OK, but again plant them AT THE SAME TIME AS THE TREE.
-- Diane of Chicago, IL
I don't have any recommendations for planting under Maple trees. My understanding
is that it is best not to plant under trees (not what you want to hear) but to
use pine bark mulch ( and not too large of chips). As the wood decays, the fungi
that are there, feed the tree roots. This is supposed
to be good for all kinds of trees, but it must be the pine bark mulch to create
the right environment for the fungi.
-- Elaine of Naperville, IL
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Updated: Oct 19, 2006.