How To Landscape Around A Tree With Exposed Roots?

Having a huge tree in the middle of your yard can highlight the beauty of your home in the best possible way. On the flip side, once their roots are exposed, the quality of the underlying grass and soil can degrade. This can get in the way of the growth of your tree. And this is where landscaping comes in handy! 

With so many landscaping methods to choose from, each method calls for a different effort. How you need to landscape around your trees, depends entirely on the landscaping method you will choose.

Dive right into the article below to know more about how to landscape around a tree with exposed roots!

Ways To Landscape Around A Tree With Exposed Roots

The first thing you should do is determine the size of your landscape. To measure around the tree zone, grab a rope and tie it to the tree trunk. Move the rope around until you come up with the shape you desire. Extend the rope to the area you would like to cover, and mark it with colors.

Now, you can take any route you wish to start landscaping. Below is a list of ideas to help you figure out the best fit for your upcoming landscaping project! 

Planting flowers 

Flowers will make great company to a tree standing alone in the front yard. If you want to draw all the attention to the landscape, adding a pop of color will do the job. A flower bed with a pink, purple or yellow hue around the tree will add a gorgeous appearance to your landscape.

The best part is, the process is relatively simple and won’t take up a lot of your time. All you have to do is, draw out the design of your landscape, select flowers that will blend well with it, and plant it!

Scoop out a layer of turf using a shovel around the marked area. Carve holes with a spade to place the plants directly to the soil. If you’re happy with the result, add a barrier to lock in the moisture and hold the plants in place.

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Adding mulch 

If you are all about adding a rustic vibe to your place, layering mulch around the tree is the way to go. This method is compatible with all kinds of trees and has proven to be safe for both trees and the environment. It’s also relatively inexpensive and will last for years if done right. 

From shredded woods to gravels, there are just so many ingredients out there that you can choose for mulching. And, as for the color and size, you can choose whatever floats your boat. 

When it comes to mulching, you don’t need to dig holes to remove soil. Sweep away all the dirt and rocks until you can see the trunk of the tree.  Layer the mulch around 3 to 5 feet across the tree. Spread the mulch out in a thin layer and make sure it’s at least a couple of inches from the tree. Keep piling till the mulch is about 3 inches deep. 

Building a retaining wall 

If you are looking for ways to incorporate contemporary style into your place, build a retaining wall without thinking twice. A stone wall around your trees will help you create a cohesive aesthetic while adding a clean look to the tree. 

You can use all kinds of stones to build a retaining wall around your tree: concrete blocks, pavers, cobblestones, river stones, you name it! Unlike wood chips, a stone wall helps sustain the roots and protect it in the long run.  

If you want to build a retaining wall around the roots, you are going to have to dig a few inches to remove the sod. Next up, you will have to place the stone block to form it into a wall shape. 

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To conceal the exposed roots, fill up the void inside the stone ring so you can lay the blocks flat. A mixture of topsoil and garden soil will take care of the roots while complementing the design. 

Designing a deck around it 

The trend of building flower beds around trees is going off these days! A deck around a giant tree will complement your house in a wonderful way, all the while creating a place to unwind. 

Not only will it do a great job of hiding the exposed roots, but it will also add a feeling of serenity to your place. Although it may take a little extra effort, the outcome makes it absolutely worthwhile.

Building a deck is not something that you should DIY. There’s more to the process than meets the eye. I highly recommend you to leave the installation to the professionals. The last thing you want to do is build a deck on your own and end up damaging your tree, without even knowing.


To add a sleek and refined look around the exposed roots of your tree, you may want to consider edging. If you want your stunning tree to stand out, it will best suit your fancy. 

It improves the overall root health of the tree while holding the mulch in place. Edging can also serve as a barrier to restrict access to pets while making the base pop. 

Things to Keep In Mind Before Landscaping

Landscaping is not just about grabbing your shovel and starting to plant flowers and lay down rocks. There are many mistakes to be made and I’m here to make sure you don’t make them. So, before diving into your landscape project, it’s important that you make sure of the following things.

Avoid adding soil over the turf

While making a flower bed around the tree, consider extracting all the grass before adding in the soil. You might think that the grass would decompose beneath the ground and thus help the roots. But it’s actually the other way around! 

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A thick layer of grass can block oxygen from reaching the roots. Once you remove the grass, the roots will receive all the nutrients the tree needs for growth. 

Be gentle to the roots 

Shoveling away the dirt from the surface is a must in all landscaping methods, especially in planting. If you are not gentle with the shovel, there’s a good chance you will cut the root that can cause serious damage to the tree.

Use your shovel gently to scoop out soil and dirt near the tree. If you stumble upon a root, stop digging right away and select a different spot for planting.

Do not use a plastic sheet as a base 

Using a plastic sheet beneath the rocks is always a bad idea. It creates a barrier between the rocks and soil by blocking oxygen and water from reaching the roots. Not to mention, plastic is no friend to the environment either.

There are landscape fabrics available on the market as an alternative to plastic sheets. Opt for fabric as your base as it delivers a much better result without threatening the health of the trees.

To wrap it all up, landscaping around trees with exposed roots goes a long way. It keeps the roots healthy and helps your tree live longer and happier. Not to mention, it greatly enhances the aesthetics of your front porch or backyard garden. 

I hope this article on how to landscape around a tree with exposed roots will assist you in doing that. Thanks for making it to the end, and I wish you all the luck on your upcoming landscaping project!