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lehmang
planter around existing tree - help

A nice maple tree resides in the corner of my yard. That being said I would like to construct a planter around the tree to a height of 24 inches. After filling the 12 foot in diameter planter with topsoil; I would then plant a small bi-annual selection of flowers. Question, do I need to do anything for the trunk or roots in preparation?

ed21
Re: planter around existing tree - help

Most trees don't tolerate convering the roots with more than an inch or two of soil.
I think 24" of dirt will likely kill the tree eventually.

BigWalt
Re: planter around existing tree - help
ed21 wrote:

Most trees don't tolerate convering the roots with more than an inch or two of soil.
I think 24" of dirt will likely kill the tree eventually.

Ed, Do you mind if I ask you this question.

I've seen homeowners and landscapers do that. Sometimes they use small stones, mulch, berm and others.

It certainly looks beautiful but Is that also bad idea.

A. Spruce
Re: planter around existing tree - help
BigWalt wrote:

Ed, Do you mind if I ask you this question.

I've seen homeowners and landscapers do that. Sometimes they use small stones, mulch, berm and others.

It certainly looks beautiful but Is that also bad idea.

My understanding is that you want to do nothing that would suffocate the crown of the root/base of the tree. That being said, covering it with anything would likely be to the detriment of the tree. Anything covering this area would promote abrasion and rot, which would not be a good thing.

How about constructing a double walled planter. One wall a foot or so from the trunk, the outer wall at whatever diameter you want the planter to be (12' ? ). This will give you ample room to put in other things, yet let the tree be left untouched.

We're planning a similar thing using decorative block. We're going to pour a mow strip at approximately a 10' diameter around a specimen tree, then stack the block to about 20". Instead of filling the ring with soil, we're going to place potted plants on blocks to put them at the proper height.

ed21
Re: planter around existing tree - help
BigWalt wrote:

Ed, Do you mind if I ask you this question.

I've seen homeowners and landscapers do that. Sometimes they use small stones, mulch, berm and others.

It certainly looks beautiful but Is that also bad idea.

I've seen small retaining walls can be built around trees when the existing grade has been lowered or when a tree is planted within a raised area. From what I know you will smother the roots of most trees if you put that much dirt on them. Maples have fairly dense surface roots that make it hard to plant around them. Ground covers can sometimes work, but there is a lot of competition for water.

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