Using Lawn Edging for Tree Rings
Lawn edging is used to create tree rings around the base of trees, usually when the tree is planted in a lawn or paved area. The edging is installed in a circle around the tree and the area between the edging and the tree trunk is covered with a layer of organic mulch. The lawn edging provides a nice neat, crisp edge which suits the style of many gardens, especially in urban areas.
Installing Lawn Edging around Newly-Planted Trees
Tree rings using lawn edging or other material are best added to trees when they are first planted. When planting a tree, remove grass and weeds and add fertilizer as needed. Make sure the tree is planted at the correct grade with the top of the root ball one or two inches above the surrounding grade. The roots will settle after planting and this prevents rain water pooling around the trunk. Do not stake the tree because when the tree is allowed to move with the winds, it develops stronger anchor roots. After planting the tree, install the lawn edging at the outer edge, or just beyond the edge of the root zone or drip line (the area below the tree branches). After installing the edging, add a layer of mulch no more than two inches deep inside the edging to the tree trunk, this will conserve moisture and nutrients and stop weeds geminating. If the mulch is thicker than two inches deep, it will prevent water from reaching the tree roots and the soil will become too dry. Take care that no mulch actually touches the tree trunk because this may enable insects or disease to attack the tree. There are several benefits to installing landscape edging as a tree ring. Not only does it look good, but tools such as weed-whackers, manual edgers and lawn mowers are not used close to the tree trunk where they can damage the bark, cut the roots, break branches or compact the soil. The lawn edging also stops lawn grass from invading the soil under the tree where it competes with the tree for nutrients and moisture.
Installing Lawn Edging around Mature Trees
It is possible to install lawn edging as a tree ring around a mature tree but this should be done with extreme care by an expert in the field such as a professional landscape gardener or arborist. Be sure to choose a professional who has previous experience and follow up on their references. This is because there are some risks to installing tree rings around mature trees. For example the roots or bark could be damaged or branches broken. In the worst case scenario, the tree could die and you could lose a valuable mature tree that is impossible to replace. The landscape professional will remove turf grass from underneath the tree in a circular shape, the edge of the circle may well extend beyond the edge of the root zone or the drip line (the area below the tree branches) so it could be a very large area, depending on the size of the tree. After the turf is removed, edging will be installed, followed by a layer of mulch.
Tree rings can improve the appearance of your yard or garden and also contribute to the long-term health of a tree. Be sure to follow the correct steps to prevent damage to the tree and hire an expert when working with mature trees or valuable specimen trees.