Often we use our blog space as a soapbox from which to pontificate, but today I’m looking for some input from our loyal readers. Last week I received a note from an editor looking for some words about tree rings. We’re talking about landscape tree rings for planting annuals or perennials, not dendrochronology.
The editor was interested in specifics on tree rings for large existing trees such as what type of materials to use, what types of flowers or plants worked best, which trees can or can’t have tree rings, etc. My reply was short, maybe even a little curt, “I don’t have any experience with tree rings but our general recommendation is to avoid grade changes around trees whenever possible. After I sent the reply I started thinking, is there any real harm to tree rings? I’ve seen some that looked pretty nice (seen many that look like crap, too). For most trees the amount of surface area covered is small compared to total surface root area. If care is taken not to bury the root collar and trunk, would the tree notice covering a little bit of mostly structural roots? Would appreciate thoughts (pro and con) from those with direct experience.