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Every landowner wants a garden in which it greens and flowers on several levels - on the ground as well as in the crowns of the trees. But not every hobby gardener succeeds in successfully planting his trees and large shrubs: Mostly it fails because of the right choice of plants, but sometimes simply on the soil preparation and care.
Difficult to underplant are, for example, flat-rooting trees such as spruce, pointed maple and birch. They intensively penetrate the topsoil and literally dig the water from other plants. Also in the root area of horse chestnut and beech other plants do themselves very hard - here however because of the unfavorable lighting conditions. Finally, walnut has developed its own strategy to keep the root competition at bay: its fall foliage contains essential oils that inhibit the germination and growth of other plants.
On the other hand, apple tree, rowanberry, apple thorn (Crataegus 'Carrierei'), oak and pine are good plants to be planted. They are all deep roots or heartrooters and usually form only a few main roots, which are more branched only at the ends. Therefore, suitable perennials, ornamental grasses and ferns and smaller trees on their tree slices have a comparatively easy life.
For the planting of a birch, plants that like barren and dry soil are suitable
Planting Trees: The Right Plant Technique
The ideal plants - even for sites under difficult trees - are perennials, ornamental grasses and ferns, which have their home in the forest and are used to the constant competition for water and light. Nevertheless, they also need good starting conditions in order to gain a foothold in the dense root system.
Anyone who has ever tried it knows how difficult it is to dig up a heavily rooted ground. It also does not get well with the trees because it inevitably damages the roots. Instead, clear the area from the weeds and use the spade to find larger gaps between the roots. These places are best marked with short bamboo sticks.
Once you have located all suitable perennials, apply a layer of leaf compost or plant soil about three centimeters high, then lift out the planting holes and plant the perennials. The root ball should be immediately before planting so long in a bucket of water, until no more bubbles rise.
Finally, the whole area is thoroughly poured again and covered the tree disc with bark mulch (shredded tree bark). The covering, which is about five centimeters thick, keeps the moisture in the soil and enriches it with additional humus - an indispensable lifeblood for all forest shrubs. Forget about a bed of soil, because most trees can not tolerate this. If you need to pile up, leave a space at least 20 centimeters wide around the trunk.
Elven flowers also invigorate difficult locations under trees, as they resist root pressure and like light penumbra
Important: Regularly check the soil moisture and water if necessary, because during the sprouting and the main growth phase (until the end of June) especially flat-rooting trees extract much water from the ground. In addition, dense treetops act like an umbrella and divert the rainfall to the outside.
You can also plant larger trees with shrubs. Ivy, for example, is a robust creeping or climbing shrub that grows under trees even in deep shade. Cherry laurel, holly and yew also stand up well to light and root competition.
Summer green shrubs such as alpine currant (Ribes alpinum 'Schmidt'), species and varieties of snowberry (Symphoricarpos) and almost all honeysuckle (Lonicera) are also suitable for the tree shade.
By the way: trees can be planted at any time from spring to autumn, but the best period is late summer, starting around the end of July. Reason: The trees have almost completed their growth and no longer extract so much water from the soil. For the perennials, the time to the beginning of the winter is sufficient to grow in well and to prepare for the competition in the next spring.
The bottom of the tree disc is usually getting wetter towards the edge. Reason: There is more rainfall and the root system is - at least in deep roots - less dense
Dry or damp shade?
When choosing plants, keep in mind that shadow perennials have different requirements with regard to soil moisture. The astilbe needs consistent soil moisture and prefers depending on the species and variety rather half shady locations.It should not grow on the north side of the tree disk near the trunk, because it is too dry and too dark there. This location is suitable for sturdy shadow shrubs such as the Balkan Cranesbill (Geranium macrorrhizum), the gold strawberry (Waldsteina geoides), the wood poppy (Meconopsis cambrica) or the hellebore (Helleborus foetidus). The further you approach the outer tree-pulp, the bigger the plant supply, because here also species grow, which love it a little wetter. These include, for example, the Funkie (Hosta), the purple bells (Heuchera), the Great Star Thorn (Astrantia major), the Digitalis purpurea and the Clovewort (Geum coccineum).
Design tip: Pay attention to a well-balanced combination of flower and leaf perennials and also plan to use ornamental grasses and ferns in the planting. The Japanese ornamental fern (Athyrium niponicum 'Metallicum'), for example, brings a lot of color into play with its dark petioles and light green to steel-blue pinnules. An easy-care grass with cream-white leaf margins is the Japanese sedge (Carex morrowii 'Variegata').