flower beds


Old 07-14-02, 03:22 PM
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flower beds

I would like to make a flower bed under an existing tree. Can I add soil and raise the bed or will this kill the tree. Actually it is two trees (a silver poplar and an apricot) that I want to plant flowers under but I do not want to kill the trees.
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Old 07-14-02, 05:54 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
Flower beds under trees.

Hi pajones, welcome to the DIY garden forum

Yes you can make flower beds under trees. You are right Having dirt up higher on established trees could cause problems.

So to get around this problem, get some solid plastic garden fencing as high, or a few inches higher than bed level. Make rings around the tree trunks about six to 8 inches away from the trunk. Use small stakes to keep in place until you have your soil in place.

Now you can use the same fencing to make your bed around that & it will allow the tree trunk to have access to air & stay dry & healthy. So when it's all done you will have a doughnut bed around your trees. What type flowers are you growing ?

I hope this helps you with your new beds. Happy Gardening. Marturo
Old 07-14-02, 07:48 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Pajones,

You can raise the soil level about 2" to 3" without injuring the tree. More than that and you risk doing damage to the trees. If the trees have a lot of surface roots, they will eventually rise anyway.

There are many plants that will thrive under the trees that you mention. If you want to dig and add compost, that will help the tree and add nutrients for your plants. Then you can top dress with mulch which will help the trees as well.

If you need help on plant selection, just let us know.

Good luck,
Old 07-14-02, 08:39 PM
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Hi Pajones,

I'll throw my 2 cents in here too. Good advice from the others. You can also put some kind of rock formation around the tree, or whatever else you had in mind. Then keep the soil level where it is and plant TALL plants. That will give the illusion that you have a raised bed.

Keep in mind, when you plant under trees that the trees are drinking the moisture and your plants will need watering more often than in a flowerbed that isn't in tree roots. Some trees (such as maples) have surface roots, and it's a little tricky to dig holes without damaging the roots. (I have a bed under a maple tree, but I don't know what kind of root system your trees have.) I need to water twice as often as other beds.


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