Planting some shade trees in your front or back yard is a great investment in your landscaping. You can help them thrive by following these tips, and we’ll show you how to make the most of them by using the space around them.
Maybe you are lucky, and you have plenty of mature shade trees already located in your yard. Or maybe you just planted a few saplings and are waiting for them to grow up. Either way, they can add a tonne of natural beauty and refreshing shade and provide you with many other benefits.
The limbs of your tree might be able to fill the space above your head; there are usually some unused empty areas around the trunk that shouldn’t be left neglected. You can actually use these spaces to create a finished look to the yard, and you can also protect the tree’s roots while you’re at it.
Plant the Right Plants
Shade trees usually block out most of the sunlight with their canopies, so you might think that nothing can grow underneath. However, there are many shade-loving varieties of plants out there that love living in the shelter of a tree. You can place them in a nice, neat circle around the trunk, or you could even invest some time in planting a shade garden.
Some great choices include impatiens, coleus, astilbe, or coral bells. Choose plants that are in small nursery containers, not bigger ones. This can save you some money, and they will also be easier to plant without accidentally damaging your tree’s roots as much. Spring bulbs are another good way to add some colour to deciduous trees. This is because in the spring, when the leaves start to grow in and block out the sun, the bulbs will go dormant.
Add Some Mulch
Adding layers of mulch (only natural mulch, not coloured mulch) around your trees is a must. Mulch is more than just shredded wood chips. You can also go for pine straw, shredded bark or gravel. Use the same type of mulch around your landscape to create a solid look and aesthetic.
Other than tidying things up, mulch is important because it can help protect the tree against damage from lawn equipment. It also helps insulate the soil from temperature extremes, and it can keep the soil warmer in the winter and cooler during the summer months. And it helps keep the roots from being too stressed by heat, which is important for younger trees. Mulch also helps slow the evaporation of water in sunny areas, so your plants can stay hydrated for longer. It also helps reduce soil erosion on slopes, and it is a natural preventative for weed growth.
When you apply the mulch around your tree, don’t pile it up around the trunk like a volcano. This encourages pests to live inside it and can harbour other diseases that harm trees. Instead, make sure that you create a ring of mulch that looks more like a donut around the tree.