Beneath the Trees:
Adding Other Woodland Plants
Forests contain a diversity of plant types arranged in vertical layers, from the tallest canopy trees through the understory of shorter trees and shrubs, to the forest floor or ground layer of low shrubs and herbaceous plants. Forest types are classified by the dominant trees present (e.g., oak-hickory-pine forest). Many combinations of plants occur in these different forests; remember to match the plants’ growth requirements with site conditions. Select plants that prefer a shadier, drier climate; Plants under a tree canopy will get significantly less rain (however, remember for new projects it may take years for young canopy trees to provide adequate shade). Native ferns and woodland groundcovers are good choices for established woodlands; native woodland wildflowers also work as they evolved to bloom early in the spring before the deciduous tree leaf canopy has developed for the season. It’s best to plant small plants (e.g., 4-inch pots rather than gallon containers) so you can dig a smaller hole and avoid root damage. Do NOT create a raised bed or planter box around a tree! Doing so can trap the roots so deep that they aren’t able to reach air, or seal moisture against the bark which can harbor insects or cause rot. Follow the simple tips below to establish your own woodland wonderland beneath the trees!
Before You Start
Design and Preparation
Using Your Project
Sharing Your Project
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