Tips & Tricks

Planting trees: Small companions for the giants in your garden


Many trees have a beautiful crown, but underneath it often looks bare and boring. This can be easily changed by planting the trees. But beware! Not every plant is suitable for every tree.

As far as the eye can see - trees, flowers and bushes everywhere. This is probably every gardener's dream. No matter what level the eyes are on, there is always something to see and discover. Under trees, however, it is not so easy to create a stain-covering sea of ​​flowers, because the different demands and especially the root growth of the trees make it quite difficult for other plants.

In order for the plant-based garden flat share to be harmonious, the residents have to fit well together. Light conditions, space for root growth, and the competition for nutrients and water are the most common issues that you shouldn't let arise.

Which plants are suitable for which trees?

Plant deep rooters and heart rooters

Deep rooters are particularly well suited for underplanting. They leave plenty of room for the growth of other species in the near-surface soil on the tree disk. It is particularly easy to settle companions under ash, oak and fir, all of which form vertical main or taproots.

Deep roots without tap roots such as sweet chestnuts and heart roots such as linden or larch are rooted in a somewhat more extensive manner. A little free soil for planting should still be found at a distance from the tree trunk. Hostas, honeysuckles, forsythia or berry bushes such as blackberries are ideal companions.

Transplant flat rooters

Flat roots such as willows, magnolias or birches cause the hobby gardener significantly more problems when planting under. Their plate-shaped root network extends over the entire tree slice and is usually dense and compact. Some vacancies can also be found under these trees with a little patience. Check the soil at a distance of about 40 centimeters by lightly tapping with a spade. If you do not feel any appreciable resistance, you have probably found a suitable location for a companion.

In addition, a resettlement of plants is not completely ruled out even on soil that is already rooted. Ferns, green ground cover such as ivy, but also small flowers such as crocuses, snowdrops or lily-of-the-valley find enough soil even under pronounced shallow-rooters. Some forest-dwelling shrubs, including the blooming rhododendrons, are also strong enough to successfully compete with flat-rooted trees.

It is generally advisable to regularly mulch the soil on the tree grate. Ordinary garden soil is otherwise very quickly depleted due to the double stress.

Note the rain and parasol effect

Keep in mind that trees with dense foliage almost look like an umbrella in summer. Even if the tree roots do not directly contest the water of the companions, you need to water the plants more often than plants that grow outdoors.

The tree shade is a serious problem for shrubs with high light requirements - such as lilac. Therefore, avoid planting your trees with all the species that only thrive in full sun. For example, you can plant hydrangeas in the marginal area of ​​the tree slice, which are exposed to the sun for at least a few hours a day, which can easily handle partial shade.