Take a stroll around your neighborhood and there is a very good chance that you will see your neighbor’s trees surrounded by tree rings or tree surrounds. If you are thinking about adding tree surrounds to your property based on aesthetics alone, take a moment to consider the pros and cons before making your final decision. Tree surrounds can be expensive and require extensive maintenance. They can even cause damage to your trees in the process.
Popular reasons Homeowners Install Tree Surrounds
• One of the most popular reasons for considering a tree surround is to hide the trees root system. Certain tree species such as maple and cherry have a tendency to have a root system that is very close to the surface which can create a trip hazard for unsuspecting home owners.
• Other individuals just don’t like the way the root system looks and chose to utilize a tree surround by adding soil or mulch for a more uniform appearance.
• Trees with dense canopies make it next to impossible for grass to grow leaving homeowners looking for an alternative to bare soil.
• If you are lucky enough to get some grass to grow under your trees it will need to be mowed on a regular basis leaving you at the mercy of low lying limbs which can lead to injuries when you are concentrating at the job at hand and not paying attention to what is above you.
Disadvantages of Tree Rings or Surrounds
According to the knowledgeable experts at Milam’s Tree Service, tree surrounds come with their fair share of negatives which homeowners should take into consideration before taking the plunge.
• Soil on the trunk: One of the largest disadvantages of a tree ring is the amount of soil that comes into direct contact with the trunk of the tree. This can result in a buildup of moisture which can cause the tree bark to soften and decay. The same applies to mulch which is piled up directly around the trunk of the tree.
• Cutting off the oxygen supply to the root system: Your trees root system needs access to oxygen in order to properly thrive. Tree surrounds greatly reduce the amount of oxygen which in certain conditions can suffocate the tree.
• Root girding: During the construction of a tree surround, soil is filled around the base of the tree for even coverage. Many homeowners choose to plant perennials that are tolerant to shade and as a result will mix garden compost to ensure the best possible results. Unfortunately, your trees root system will take advantage of this nutrient rich soil only to be stifled by the tree surround leaving your root system to circle around the restricted space which eventually leads to girdling roots.
Alternatives to Tree Surrounds
Consider working with your Milam’s Tree Service specialists to work on a more natural approach to tree surrounds by instead planting shade tolerant plants between the root systems. Other considerations include using mulch away from the truck of your trees, which has the added benefit of the mulch becoming an excellent source of nutrients for shade plants once it begins to decompose and break down.