Putting together your perfect backyard landscaping plan is more than just throwing a few plants together. It’s about crafting a landscape that’s practical and can grow with you. 

Are you thinking of adding more greenery to your living space? Maybe you want a minimal look?

Tree border landscaping is an increasingly popular way to control and elevate an outdoor space.

This article dives into the top 10 tree border landscaping ideas in Sydney, showcasing how the right selection can elevate your garden’s aesthetics and health.

Whether you’re nestled by a beach on the North Shore or perched in one of Northern Sydney’s suburbs, the right border serves not just as a visual treat but as a vital component of tree health, ensuring nutrients and water are directed where they’re most needed.

From the charm of native bush rocks to the sleek elegance of metal edging, each option offers a unique blend of functionality and style, tailored to withstand Sydney’s diverse climate.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about these creative yard landscaping trends.

10 Stunning Tree Border Landscaping Ideas

#1 – Native Bush Rocks

Utilising native bush rocks as borders around trees tap into the rugged beauty of the Australian landscape.

This approach is not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally friendly, as it uses locally sourced materials that blend seamlessly into the garden.


  • Enhances natural aesthetics
  • Supports local ecosystems by using indigenous materials
  • Requires minimal maintenance

Action Steps:

Gather rocks of various sizes from local suppliers and arrange them around the base of your trees, creating a natural, organic look. Ensure the arrangement allows for water penetration and root growth.

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Native Bush Rocks

#2 – Mulch Rings

Mulch rings are a classic, functional choice for tree borders. They help retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and gradually break down to enrich the soil with organic matter.


  • Retains soil moisture
  • Suppresses weed growth
  • Provides nutrients to the soil as it decomposes

Action Steps:

Apply a thick layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or shredded bark, around the tree’s base, extending as far out as the drip line. Avoid piling mulch against the tree trunk to prevent moisture buildup and disease.

Mulch Rings 01

#3 – Perennial Plantings

Incorporating perennial plants around trees creates a dynamic, living border that evolves with the seasons. Choose species that thrive in Sydney’s climate for a low-maintenance, vibrant display.


  • Offers year-round interest with seasonal blooms
  • Attracts beneficial wildlife like bees and butterflies
  • Can be tailored to suit any garden style

Action Steps:

Select drought-resistant perennials and plant them in a ring around the tree, ensuring they have enough space to grow without disturbing the tree’s roots.

Consider plants with varying blooming times for continuous colour.

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Perennial Plantings 01

#4 – Poured Concrete

A poured concrete border delivers a clean, modern edge that defines the tree area crisply. It’s durable and can be moulded into any shape to suit your garden’s design.


  • Offers a long-lasting, durable border
  • Provides a neat, tidy appearance
  • Prevents grass and weeds from encroaching on the tree area

Action Steps:

Hire a professional to pour a concrete ring around your tree, allowing enough space for growth. The concrete should be at ground level to allow for easy lawn mowing and maintenance.

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Poured Concrete

#5 – Steel Edging

Steel edging introduces a contemporary feel with its sleek lines and durability. It’s particularly suited for modern landscapes, offering a sharp contrast to the natural shapes of trees and plants.


  • Strong and long-lasting
  • Adds a modern aesthetic to the garden
  • Easily installed and shaped to fit any tree base

Action Steps:

Install flexible steel edging around the tree, ensuring it’s securely anchored in the ground. The edging can be left natural to develop a rust patina or painted for additional protection and colour.

Steel Edging 01

#6 – Brick Pavers

Brick pavers provide a timeless look that complements both traditional and contemporary gardens. They can be laid in various patterns to create a unique border around trees.


  • Versatile in design and colour
  • Durable and easy to repair
  • Enhances the garden with a classic aesthetic

Action Steps:

Choose bricks that match or complement your home’s exterior. Lay them in a circular pattern around the tree, leaving small gaps for water infiltration. Consider using a flexible base to allow for tree growth.

Brick Pavers

#7 – Recycled Glass Bottles

Using recycled glass bottles as a tree border is an innovative and environmentally friendly way to add colour and sparkle to your garden. This option is perfect for those looking to upcycle and create a unique garden feature.


  • Provides a unique, colourful border
  • Eco-friendly option for repurposing waste materials
  • Catches the light, adding visual interest

Action Steps:

Collect glass bottles of different colours and bury them neck down around the tree, creating a vibrant ring. Ensure the bottles are placed closely together to form a continuous border.

Recycled Glass Bottles 02

#8 – Wooden Logs

A border made from wooden logs adds a rustic charm to any garden, evoking the feel of a forest clearing. This option is ideal for creating a cosy, naturalistic setting.


  • Offers a natural, rustic look
  • Integrates well into cottage and woodland garden styles
  • Provides habitat for garden critters

Action Steps:

Source logs of similar diameter and length, and lay them end-to-end around your tree. You can either dig a shallow trench to set them in or lay them directly on the surface.

Wooden Logs 02

#9 – Woven Willow

Woven willow borders bring an artistic touch to the landscape, offering a beautiful, natural look that evolves. This option is perfect for gardeners looking to add a handmade, organic element to their space.


  • Creates a beautiful, natural aesthetic
  • Flexible design options
  • Biodegradable and eco-friendly

Action Steps:

Purchase or harvest willow branches and weave them together to form a circle around the tree. The weave can be as simple or intricate as you like, tailored to your garden’s style.

Woven Willow

#10 – River Stones

Riverstones create a serene, calming border that mimics the tranquillity of a stream. This option is ideal for adding texture and a sense of peace to your garden.


  • Offers a smooth, calming aesthetic
  • Low maintenance and durability
  • Helps with drainage and prevents soil erosion

Action Steps:

Select smooth, rounded river stones and arrange them around the tree base. For added interest, mix stones of different sizes and colours. Ensure there’s enough space between stones for water to filter through.

River Stones

Key Factors in Choosing Tree Borders

Climate Compatibility

Materials and plants that thrive in local weather conditions will ensure your border remains beautiful and functional year-round.

For instance, native bush rocks and drought-resistant perennials are well-suited to withstand the hot, dry summers and mild winters, requiring less maintenance and water.

Materials that don’t fare well in extreme temperatures or humidity levels may deteriorate faster, requiring replacement or extra care to maintain their appearance and effectiveness.

Considering the microclimate of your specific garden area is crucial. Areas that receive full sun versus those in partial shade may influence the type of plants that will thrive as part of your tree border.

The choice between organic materials like mulch, which can help retain moisture in the soil, and hard elements like concrete, which may increase heat reflection, should be made with the local climate in mind.

The goal is to create a border that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your landscape but also contributes positively to the health of your trees and the overall garden ecosystem.

Maintenance Requirements

Some options, like mulch rings or perennial plantings, require regular upkeep, including replenishing materials, pruning, and weeding, to maintain their appearance and health benefits.

Others, such as poured concrete or steel edging, offer a more ‘set-and-forget’ solution, needing little to no maintenance beyond occasional cleaning.

It’s important to realistically assess how much time and effort you can dedicate to garden maintenance and choose a border that aligns with your lifestyle and capacity for upkeep.

Additionally, consider the longevity and durability of the materials or plants you select.

While some options may require more upfront work or investment, they might offer longer-term benefits by reducing the need for frequent replacements or repairs.

For example, investing in high-quality steel edging might have a higher initial cost but will withstand the elements better over time compared to more temporary solutions like wooden logs, which may rot or degrade.

Balancing aesthetic desires with practical maintenance considerations will ensure your border remains a source of joy rather than a burden.

Tree Health and Growth

Ensuring the health and continued growth of your trees is paramount when selecting a border.

Some materials or designs may inadvertently harm your trees by restricting root growth, reducing water penetration, or causing soil compaction.

For example, a too-tight concrete ring might look sleek but could hinder a tree’s ability to expand its roots and access necessary nutrients and water.

Similarly, certain types of mulch, if applied improperly, can lead to excess moisture retention around the tree trunk, encouraging rot and disease.

It’s essential to choose options that allow for adequate water drainage and do not impede the natural growth patterns of the tree’s roots.

Consider borders that can be easily adjusted or expanded as the tree grows, such as flexible steel edging or loosely arranged stones.

Always keep the long-term well-being of your trees in mind, as a healthy tree is the centrepiece of any garden.

Aesthetic Integration

The visual impact of your chosen border should harmoniously integrate with the overall design of your garden and complement the architectural style of your home.

Whether you’re aiming for a modern, minimalist look or a more rustic, naturalistic garden, the border around your trees should enhance and unify the landscape.

For instance, sleek materials like poured concrete or steel edging might suit contemporary garden designs, while natural stone or woven willow borders could better complement traditional or cottage-style gardens.

Consider not only the immediate impact of your border choice but also how it will age and develop over time.

Some materials, like steel, may acquire a patina that adds character, while organic options like wood or mulch will change as they weather or decompose.

The key is to select a border that reflects your style and the character of your garden, creating a cohesive and inviting outdoor space that you and your guests will enjoy throughout the year.

Final Thoughts: Crafting Your Garden’s Final Touch

Here are the key takeaways to guide you in making your decision:

  • Climate Compatibility: Choose materials and plants that thrive in Sydney’s climate for longevity and reduced maintenance.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Consider how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in upkeep. Some options require more attention than others.
  • Tree Health and Growth: Select borders that support the health and growth of your trees, allowing for root expansion and adequate water drainage.
  • Aesthetic Integration: Ensure your choice complements the overall design of your garden and the architectural style of your home.

Before making a final decision, reflect on your specific needs and the unique characteristics of your garden.

The perfect border for your trees should not only look beautiful but also contribute to a healthy and sustainable garden ecosystem.

Ready to Transform Your Garden? Trust the Team at Manna Landscapes

Embarking on your landscaping journey opens up a world of possibilities to enhance your outdoor living space.

Whether you’re dreaming of serene garden borders that evoke the calm of the Australian landscape or seeking a modern edge to frame your verdant retreats, the path to achieving your vision has never been clearer.

At Manna Landscapes, we’re passionate about bringing your garden dreams to life. Our team of experts is ready to provide personalised advice, tailored to the unique aspects of your garden and lifestyle.

From selecting the perfect materials to complement Sydney’s climate to ensuring the health and growth of your trees, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Contact Manna Landscapes today for a personalised consultation or to request a quote.