Groundcover: good or bad for your trees?

Not every area is suitable for lawns or other landscape plants. If you also have such a place in your garden, then you must be considering going with a groundcover. But do you feel that this is a good choice to make, as there have been many arguments about groundcover being harmful to the health of trees. It is very important that you keep your trees in mind when choosing groundcover varieties and also make sure to choose the right place to plant them. Here on this blog, we’ll discuss everything about groundcovers and whether using them is a good or bad idea.

What are groundcovers?

In horticulture, groundcover (or ground cover) is a type of plan that is used to cover a vast amount of ground in any garden space. They are usually short, rapid-growing perennials that don't require a lot of soil. But the term “groundcover” is very broad. Once it was mainly used for living plants, in the modern world, people use groundcover for any material used in landscaping to cover and beautify an area.

Why Use Groundcovers in Your Garden?

As we already know, groundcovers are used in areas where the soil is not suitable for landscape plants or lawns. The best part about using groundcovers is that they are used to retain moisture in the soil and can help reduce snow drifting in the winter.

One of the best parts about using groundcovers, especially in cold or hot areas, is that they require low maintenance but also serve as gorgeous additions to the landscape. This means you will have more chances to add lushness, color, and texture to a setting.

When you have a garden with landscaping, using groundcovers can be a great choice as they are very useful in connecting and unifying different areas of a landscape. At the same time, these can also be useful to cover or camouflage unsightly areas or structures.

Turfgrass is the most commonly used groundcover as it is able to withstand the pressure of footfalls and activity, but it is very important to keep in mind that not all turfgrasses are suitable for your garden. When choosing to plant in areas such as shady, dry, or wet, make sure to check if the turfgrasses are suitable.

 

What can go wrong with the groundcover around your trees?

This is a very common question that comes to the minds of people when choosing groundcovers for their hardening. To get a better answer, you need to understand the life cycle of a tree. They are not able to walk around in search of food and water. Trees around the world rely on nutrients and moisture found in the soil, which they suck using their roots. No tree would want to have a rival or competitor on its land who would take a share of its food or water.

Any professional in the field will agree with this fact, but a good thing about adding groundcover to the garden is that they can effectively add some green area beneath the trees. And the good part here is that they don’t need much maintenance or mowing.

According to professionals in the field, using groundcover can be a harmful choice one can make as they keep organic materials like soil or leaves trapped by the ground, which can decompose and then build up the soil volume around the root flare of your tree. This all results in increasing the risk of fungal disease, girdled roots, fungal diseases, or pest infestations.

Prevention is key

Now that we all know that using groundcovers is not a good idea to make, it doesn't mean that you cannot use them at all. Many professionals can help you with the decision, but the key here is prevention. You need to have a good maintenance plan for the groundcover as well as the trees. This will help keep control of the potential diseases that may occur due to unhealthy conditions caused by groundcovers.

It is suggested to never use string trimmers around the base of your trees, as this can result in great damage to their health.