Tips For Landscaping and Gardening Around Trees

I recently had our landscape replanted, and it looks great! If you’re in the Saint Louis, Missouri area please give a call to the awesome tree service that we used: They did all of the landscaping and even trimmed the branches on our trees so that they no longer hit the roof of our house. Quick and easy service and they planted just what I asked for.


A shaded area under trees, or next to a building can be problematic for many plants, especially if the ground is also parched. Fortunately, there are permanent plants that can survive a hard shadow. You can choose evergreen or deciduous plants, and even blooming shadow plants can be found, although most will bloom in spring because trees usually cover most of the sunlight. What are suitable shady plants for dry land and what conditions should they meet?

Preparation of the ground

To give the plants a good start, it’s a good idea to improve the soil by applying compost and leafy soil and gently work it into the ground. Beware of the roots of trees already present. By adding annual compost, the soil remains humus rich with a healthy soil life with a lot of rain and worms. The best planting time is autumn, the plants get so well the time to save because the soil is often moister than in summer. Small young plants will have less effort to save than large older ones. Give water for the first year especially in spring and summer, as the shadow plants that can be on the dry soil can often be difficult at first.

How To Plant for Sun and Shade

Plants do their best if they are planted in growing conditions as they grow in the wild as well. The leaf can often be seen as a plant of sun or shadow. A plant in the shadow must be able to survive with little light. The leaf is often dark green because it is full of chlorophyll. In the shadow and out of the wind, the leaf can be large because it does not have to withstand any drying sun and wind. Silver / gray leaf with hair will not dry out as soon as the color reflects the sunlight and protects the hairs and can tolerate real sunshine. Also, thick leathery foliage is resistant to a lot of sunlight. In a case of doubt, always check the information cards provided with the plants or search information in garden books or on the internet. Some suitable shadow plants for dry soil Daphne laureola or black pepper tree is evergreen in winter. The leaf is very green in color and shiny. The plant can eventually reach 1.5m high and blossoms with yellow-green flowers from January to April. Black pepper tree can stand on light shade in food-rich and calcareous dry soil.


Mahogany bush

Mahogany bush is an evergreen and low-lying shrub (up to 70 cm high). The leaf is shiny dark green. In April, May, and June, the plant blooms with yellow flowers followed by black currants. The plant tolerates half shadow and shadow.
Acanthus mollis has a dark green glossy leaf. The sheet is beautifully shaped. From July to September, the plant with white, purple flowers blossoms on long upright stems. The plant blossoms and grows best when it is in the sun, but in the dry shade the plant can do well, though it grows and blossoms less

Bergenia Silber Light

Bergenia Silber light or butterfly plant has a large green leaf and blooms in April and May with white, pink flowers. The plant becomes 30 cm high and can be well in half shade in dry soil. When several plants are placed, Bergenia Silberlicht grows soil-covering and soothes the weed formation.

Digitalis purpurea alibi flora

Digitalis purpurea alibi flora or fennel herb is a robust plant that blooms in June and July with white flowers on a long stem. The plant shows itself, so do not be fooled when he heads the head elsewhere. Normally, the plant is on forest edges, so half shade is well tolerated. In bloom, the plant grows to 1.5 m high. Pulmonaria Blue Ensign Pulmonaria Blue Ensign or lung herb 30 cm tall and tolerates right half shadow or shadow and can stand well under trees and bushes. The plant blooms in March, April, and May with blue flowers, which later become pink in color. The flowers are attractive to bees.

Brunnera Macrophilia

Caucasian forget-me-not is a hardy plant that can stand well in the shade or partial shade under trees and shrubs. The plant is 30 cm tall and has a silver-gray leaf. The plant is best when it is in full sun. The plant is 50 cm high and is attractive to bees.

Fatsia japonica

Fatsia japonica or finger plant is an evergreen plant with a beautiful large shiny leaf. The plant can stand well in the shade on dry ground. In October and November, the plant blooms with spherical white flowers followed by blueberries.

Do’s and Don’ts of Planting Near Trees

Trees in the city are difficult. In a densely populated area, the roots of trees must find their way under the asphalt that does not allow air or water. The soil is often densified, leaving little oxygen at the roots. A boom mirror should not tax a tree. But trees also benefit from an increased mirror. Bikes are parked less against the tree; a little pedestrian walks around the boom mirror so that the earth does not compact, and the plants at the foot of the tree ensure that the moisture is held tight.
There is quite some misunderstanding about planting the soil around trees. Therefore, a few do’s and don’ts of tree planting under trees:

  1. Do not plant flowers around a tree younger than five years, or just planted.
    In young trees, planting can cause stagnation in growth. Trees that are planted are usually older than five years, but the tree must first be hit, only after a year it’s time to plant the tree mirror.
  2. Avoid planting high bushes right next to a tree because of willow woods.
    Large shrubs can be planted well in a tree mirror, provided that the stem foot remains free and is visible. This is necessary to spot possible fungi and at spots early. The willow grouse that makes such large corridors that a tree could be a danger to the environment is more familiar if there are bushes at the trunk.
  3. Prevent from raising the earth around the tree
    Tree roots need oxygen to grow, but also to absorb water and minerals. If there is enough water in the soil but insufficient oxygen, a tree may die for moisture shortage. All oxygen in a bottom comes from above. The deeper the soil, the lesser the oxygen it contains. It is even so that at 1 meter below the tile tiles there is often insufficient oxygen to grow roots. When you raise the ground, the roots suddenly get less oxygen. There may also be a mess by raising. Soaring up the earth around a tree is a maximum of 5 cm.
  • Note wires. Usually, thin sticks can be struck best between the roots, but stop if you feel resistance and then look for another spot.
  • Beware of electricity. Sometimes there are electric or other cables below the boom mirror from 40 cm depth. Do you feel while digging resistance, first look at what you are shooting before digging further to avoid major problems?
  • Remove bloomed plants from the plant. This prevents the plant from stopping its energy in seed formation and promotes the flow of energy to new budgets

Here’s a great video with more tips!

Identify Trees With a Surprisingly​ Easy iPhone App

It’s 2017 and honestly, trees haven’t changed all that much.  They still need light, soil, and water to thrive.  They still reach for the sky and tower above us majestically.  However, times are changing and it’s now easier than ever to identify which tree you’re looking at, just by snapping a picture of it with your smartphone.  No longer do you need to drag fieldbooks around with you everywhere you go.  There’s a new mobile app called Leafsnap, which uses image recognition to tell which species of tree the leaf originated.  I’ve been using this app for several weeks now.  It isn’t able to identify every tree from its leaf, but it’s not bad.

Leafsnap was developed by researchers from the University of Maryland, Columbia University, and the Smithsonian Institution.  At its heart is an engine which uses facial recognition software similar to what Facebook uses to tag people in pictures.  Peter Belhumeur (Columbia University) and David Jacobs (University of Maryland) found an ingenious way to train that software to recognize leaves instead of noses.  They worked with Botanist John Kress (Smithsonian) to build a database of tree leaf images to work with the recognizer.  All of the power of that leaf database now sits on my iPhone right next to the photo I tweeted of what I had for lunch.  (Wendy’s.  Don’t judge.)


The drawback of Leafsnap is that leaves need to be plucked from the tree and placed on a white background before they are photographed in order for the software to work.  The image is then uploaded to Leafsnap’s server which identifies potential matches for the tree species.  The list of potential matches is returned to the user who can browse high-resolution images of flowers, leaves, fruits, seeds, bark, and other identifying characteristics to confirm the match and choose the right species.

Images come from the Smithsonian’s Botany database, so it’s all very accurate and looks nice.   Once identified, users can use the photos they snapped to build their own catalog of tree images.

Today Leafsnap can only identify trees in Canada and the northeastern United States. Leafsnap’s database will eventually be expanded to include all trees growing across the United States. If you don’t live in the northeast you can still use the app by browsing the Leafsnap species encyclopedia to find trees that are common in a wide range of areas such as oaks and willows.  It is surprisingly useful in identifying many trees in my home territory of Missouri.

Funding for the development of Leafsnap was provided in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation entitled “An Electronic Field Guide: Exploring and Discovering Plants in the 21st Century” and the Washington Field Biologists Club.

The Leafsnap application is currently available for iPhone and iPad. A version of the application is being developed for Android phones also.  Here’s a video demo of LeafSnap in work: