The area around the base of a tree is a difficult place for grass to grow, leaving many of these spaces looking a little barren. Thankfully, you have a few options to make the space around your trees an inviting part of your lawn. With a few ideas and a willingness to get dirty, you'll be able to tackle this project and turn a potential eyesore into the focal point of your lawn.
Why Grass Won't Grow
If you've tried to plant grass seed around the base of your tree and you've wound up with a few spindly green threads for your efforts you aren't alone. Grass in most cases just isn't happy around a tree trunk. The tree and grass constantly fight for the same resources from both the sun and the ground they're growing in, and usually the tree wins. That's why seeding around a tree or placing sod there usually won't grow into the lush green carpet you have in your mind. If you want to try planting grass around your tree anyway, make sure you're using a type that's hardy in the shade such as a fescue type.
Where grass may fail, installing a raised garden bed can succeed. Raised garden beds are an easy way to establish a nourishing area for shade friendly plants. In order to do this you'll need some garden pavers or a raised border, and some soil. Start by installing the border or stacking the pavers to your desired height around the tree. With pavers it's best to slowly taper them inward with the widest layer being at the bottom and the narrowest at the top. This will make your wall more stable than if all the pavers are even. After your barrier is built, fill in the area around the trunk with soil. At this point you can place mulch on top and be done, or plant shade loving plants like ferns or coleus.
If you live in an area where shade plants won't thrive, consider making a seating area underneath your tree. A shaded seating area is perfect for relaxing outside of the sun's reach. To make a seating area, clear away any dead or broken branches. Next, create a clear border around your new seating area. You can do this by either edging a shape you desire in the lawn around the tree, or by adding a border. The important thing you're trying to accomplish is to establish a defined shape. Next, fill in the area with small stones or mulch. This helps to define the space better visually. After you fill in the area, all you need to do is add your favorite bench.
If you have any concerns while landscaping, contact a company like Williams Magical Garden Center.