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Re: TH: Perrenials & Annuals around Trees ...

 Post-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com (Community Forestry) ----------
>  We've touched on this topic before.  There are a number of questions
>  that one would have when planting groundcovers, flowers etc. around
>  the bases of trees.  Our 'natural' orientation is to favor the
>  perrenials over the annuals, just as we would prefer native trees
>  over imports or hybrids, but is this best in all cases ? Should we
>  shy away from climbing ivies, for instance, and then there are many
>  grasses available.  Here in Baltimore, store-bought Petunias can
>  put on a great show throughout the summer.  But at the first frost
>  they die away, and maybe this is better for the trees -- in a pot,
>  on the street or on the front lawn.  Obviously I am hitting on a
>  number of issues here, and any experienced thoughts you might have
>  in this area would be helpful for all of us.  So in an effort to
>  to formulate these intracacies into one simple question:
>  We want to plant small 'ornamentals' around our trees, so what are
>  the best for those trees ? What are the benefits and hazards of
>  grasses, bulbs like Tulip and Daffodil (Narcissus is the same thing
>  -- even if you've heard otherwise :), groundcovers et al ? What
>  have you learned from your own past experimentations ?
I was out planting a second round of annuals in the tree pits outside my
building on Tuesday.  The soil was amazingly compacted given that it had
been dug up in April for round one - bulbs, and dug up two weeks ago to
remove round one and has tree guards which probably deter most people from
walking on the soil.

I ramble about the compacted condition because one of the bigger problems
that trees in NYC have is getting water.  Heavily compacted soil absorbs
about as much water as cement.  Hence keeping the soil loosened helps the
trees.  This may be an argument for annuals which need more digging in and
out than perrenials.

New York City 

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