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When you want to give your landscape a polished look, a rock or stone tree ring is the perfect go-to.

It’s super easy to learn how to landscape around trees. With the right tools and tips, you’ll have a tree border up and running in a few short hours or less!

So, without further ado, let’s walk through how to create a rock or stone tree ring.

How to build a border around a tree

Use this step-by-step guide to place stones or rocks around your tree.

  1. Pinpoint your tree’s dripline, i.e. the area directly under the tree’s canopy. To do this, make a note of the widest-reaching branch on the left and right side of the tree. The spot on the ground directly below the tip of those branches is the dripline.
  2. Mark that area all the way around the tree with a rope or spray paint. Your rock or stone border should sit just outside of the dripline so it doesn’t interfere with the tree’s roots.
  3. Dig a 3 to 5-inch-deep trench, making sure it’s wide enough to fit the rocks or stones you have.
  4. Line the trench with a thin layer of mulch.
  5. Place the rocks or stones along the trench with an equal amount of space between them. As you go, secure them with a rubber mallet. Once all your stones or rocks are placed, you're all set!

Building a tree ring on uneven ground

Adding a stone or rock border is a little trickier when you’re dealing with uneven ground, but it’s doable. You can still dig a trench as instructed above, but instead of digging an even 3-5 inches, you’ll have to dig to a depth that makes the trench level all the way around. To do that, determine the difference in height between the high side and low side, and dig accordingly to even the two out.

Landscaping around trees with rocks

The steps above cover how to create a rock garden around trees. But before you get to digging, think about what rock color and size will enhance your yard. When you have a look in mind, decide whether you’ll buy rocks or collect them from your favorite outdoor spot. Finally, remember to hose the rocks down once they are placed to clean them up.

Landscaping around trees with stone

The steps above are perfect for building a one-layer stone tree ring. If you’re building a multi-layer border, those steps still apply, but there are a few other things to keep in mind:

  1. Dig your trench low enough to bury the first layer of stones a few inches deep.
  2. Use a level to make sure the stones are even as you place them.
  3. As you stack, avoid lining up the crevices between stones and instead use a stone to cover up the opening on a lower layer.

What to put under rocks or stone to prevent weeds

Mulch and landscape fabric are two options for preventing weeds from cropping up under your tree ring. Check out this take on the pros and cons of landscape fabric.

Guide to edging around trees and mulch beds.

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