Gravel is a versatile landscaping material that adds a natural finishing touch to a yard. Using concrete gravel around trees creates a clean frame, tying them in with stone walls or other landscaping features. Gravel also insulates roots and prevents weeds and grass from growing, making mowing easier. Issues to consider when using gravel include landscaping designs, long-term maintenance concerns, emerging tree roots and walkways.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Rope, hose or flour
- Landscape fabric
Use a rope, hose or flour to draw a border around the first tree. While round borders are easy to create, consider using other shapes if the rest of your landscaping incorporates different shapes. For instance, a triangular- or diamond-shaped border will accent a nearby square garden.
Use a hoe to remove grass and other growth from the area inside of the border. Dig a trench around the tree about 4 inches deep.
Cut landscape fabric to line the trench. The fit doesn't have to be perfect, but the fabric should be smaller than the width of the trench, so it doesn't show on the edges.
Spread 2 to 3 inches of concrete gravel evenly over the trench. Spread gravel around the base of the tree, building a mound to direct water runoff away from the tree.
Dig similar trenches around other trees, filling in the gravel to the same height around each tree.
Look at the position of trees you have along your property line. Rather than landscaping a gravel border around each tree, consider laying one straight border of gravel along the property line for a more harmonious look. Reducing difficult-to-reach corners and narrows patches of grass conserves water and reduces maintenance.
Outline the border along your property line and clear all growth from within the border. After digging out the 4-inch trench, layer pieces of landscape fabric over the soil, mounding the bases of the trees as you go.
Tips and warnings
- Gravel borders should be large enough to cover any tree roots that have emerged from the ground. The border will protect the roots and prevent people from tripping.
- Consider lining your gravel borders with larger stones. Animals may track some gravel onto your grass that can be dangerous if caught in the lawnmower.
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