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  1. #1
    [align=left]We have a few oak trees (trunks are not that big) and would like to plant a flower bed around two of them. I see all these flower bed designs around trees but there never is an explanation on how to do. What's the easiest way without hurting the roots? Another option is a few feet away from the tree but I assume the roots are long so would have to be careful about not harming them, too.[/align]
    [align=left]Are raised beds possible around trees? If so, any suggestions for that too?[/align]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    Raised beds are a no no.* Here's info on how tree roots grow.
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/WO017
    http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/02926.html
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/trees_turf.aspx
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx

    Plant small plants and careful with the watering.* Mature trees like deep watering occasionally.* When you plant flowers under a tree you will need to water often and shallow for the tree.

    Newt

  3. #3
    [align=left]Wow! Thanks for the info. I had no idea. We were looking around in our neighborhood and we keep seeing raised beds all over (most of them not with flowers around but edging, like two layers of brick*and a few bushes or something). [/align]

    [align=left]I guess I'll forget about that then. I don't want to kill our trees. Too bad because it would look a lot neater around the tree (like edging and some nice looking ground cover).[/align]
    [align=left]Or do you have any other ideas what do do around a tree so it won't look too messy. We live on a golf course and although I am not too fond of designs that are too formal (that's just not me ;)) but it should still look neat and fit in (the community we live in is actually pretty laid back!).[/align]

    [align=left]Thanks![/align]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hmmm, I had to think about this one.* If you extend the beds so the outer edge is near the drip line, you could plant small shrubs and flowers.* You'll have to dig carefully with mature trees.* Many times the plantings are added when the tree is planted and there is no fear of harming the tree roots when digging.* Here's some ideas for edging and planting.
    http://www.ncarnevale.com/edgers.htm
    http://www.curbinusa.com/
    http://www.southernliving.com/southe...229688,00.html
    http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_design_p...398447,00.html
    http://www.millernursery.com/landsca...edProjects.htm

    This one will keep you busy for hours!* :shock:*
    http://ww3.gardenpicture.com/

    Click through the pics here for some ideas.
    http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/...apedesignbylee

    Sorry this pic is so small, but look at the 'dropped down edge' aka 'trench edge' on the right.
    http://www.haywardgardens.com/30_big.html

    What do you think?
    Newt



  5. #5
    [align=left]We have a shade perennial bed wrapping around the base of our linden tree and it adds a nice, classic touch to the yard. We have about a*6-foot wide circle (not clean cut, more free flowing)*around the tree, then a flagstone path, more planting space and*a*patio. (wish I had a picture...)[/align]
    [align=left]Regarding roots, I have added a lot of dirt around the base of the tree, but the area needed it, so it doesn't looked bermed. I've had to change the location of where I wanted to plant based on roots. Not fun, but it does give it a more natural look. Just do the best you can and don't expect a perfect structured design. Try a climbing hydrangea on the tree!* Good luck![/align]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    Allison, your garden sounds lovely.* I'd love to see pics.* Just be sure that you haven't added more then 2" of soil over the roots each year so the tree roots have time to rise.* Most tree roots are in the upper 12" to 18" of soil.* The rootflare of your tree should be visible and no soil or mulch should be placed against the trunk.* If your tree looks like a telephone where it meets the soil line instead of flaring out, it's buried too deep.

    Newt

  7. #7
    Thanks for the tips on the depth of soil. I'll try to get some pictures to post.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Allison, I'd love to see pics!

    Newt

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