Are you looking for more ways to protect, respect and elevate your trees?

With the right approach, you can transform the space around your trees into a stunning feature that complements both the natural and built elements of your property.

In this article, we’re diving into 10 innovative ways to landscape around your trees, offering practical advice and creative inspiration to help you enhance your outdoor space. 

From the simplicity of ground covers to the rustic charm of wood chip mulching, each option presents its own set of benefits and aesthetic appeal.

We’ll explore how incorporating native plants can attract local wildlife, the advantages of installing a circular bench for a cosy reading nook, and why choosing the right materials is key to protecting the health of your trees.

Selecting the perfect commercial or residential landscaping solution is crucial, not just for the visual harmony of your garden, but also for the well-being of your trees and the local ecosystem.

Read on to learn everything you need to know.


  • Explore ground covers, circular benches, wood chip mulching, native plantings, decorative mulch rings, ferns, raised garden beds, tree-wrapping benches, stone pathways, and decorative lighting.
  • Factors such as tree type, aesthetics, maintenance, environmental impact, budget, and local conditions should guide your decision.
  • Strive for a balance between environmental sustainability and your aesthetic vision for your landscape design solution.

10 Inspiring Ways to Landscape Around Your Trees

#1 – Ground Covers

Ground covers are low-growing plants that blanket the soil beneath trees, creating a lush, green carpet. They come in various species, each offering unique textures and colours.


  • Prevents soil erosion.
  • Reduces weed growth.
  • Retains soil moisture.
  • Enhances aesthetics with diverse foliage.
  • Attracts beneficial insects.

Action Steps:

Select native ground cover species to support local wildlife and ensure compatibility with Sydney’s climate. Plant them evenly around the base of your trees, leaving enough space for future growth.

Mulch the area to suppress weeds and retain moisture.

Ground Covers

#2 – Circular Benches

A circular bench encircling a tree offers a serene seating area, perfect for relaxation or social gatherings. It transforms the tree into a natural focal point.


  • Creates a peaceful oasis.
  • Maximises tree shade.
  • Adds a decorative element.
  • Encourages outdoor bonding.
  • Utilises space effectively.

Action Steps:

Choose durable, weather-resistant materials like timber or stone for your bench. Ensure it’s wide enough for comfortable seating. Consider integrating a small table or placing potted plants nearby for added charm.

Circular Benches

#3 – Wood Chip Mulching

Wood chips spread around the base of a tree serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. They protect the soil, reduce weed growth, and lend a rustic touch to your landscape.


  • Maintains soil moisture.
  • Suppresses weeds.
  • Enhances tree health.
  • Adds a natural look.
  • Encourages decomposition.

Action Steps:

Apply wood chips in a 5-10 cm layer, leaving some space around the trunk to prevent rot. Top up as needed. Avoid using fresh wood chips as they may deplete soil nitrogen. Opt for aged or hardwood chips.

Wood Chip Mulching 02

#4 – Native Plantings

Choosing native plants indigenous to Sydney not only celebrates local flora but also supports local wildlife. These plants have adapted to the region’s climate and conditions.


  • Attracts native birds and insects.
  • Requires less maintenance.
  • Increases biodiversity.
  • Thrives in the local climate.
  • Reduces water usage.

Action Steps:

Research native plant species suited to your specific location in Sydney. Group them based on water needs and sun exposure. Incorporate a mix of flowering and evergreen varieties for year-round interest.

Native Plantings

#5 – Decorative Mulch Rings

Mulch rings are decorative borders around tree bases, adding an elegant touch to your landscape. They can be created using various materials.


  • Defines tree space.
  • Enhances aesthetics.
  • Provides protection.
  • Controls moisture.
  • Reduces weed growth.

Action Steps:

Choose mulch materials that complement your overall garden design, such as gravel, stones, or shredded bark. Create a circular ring around the tree, ensuring it doesn’t touch the trunk.

Maintain the mulch ring’s shape for a tidy look.

Decorative Mulch Rings 02

#6 – Ferns and Shade-Loving Plants

Planting ferns and shade-loving plants beneath trees can create a lush understory layer, adding depth and diversity to your landscape.


  • Utilises shaded areas.
  • Enhances visual interest.
  • Mimics natural forests.
  • Improves air quality.
  • Requires minimal care.

Action Steps:

Choose shade-tolerant plants such as hostas, ferns, and begonias. Ensure the soil is well-draining and amend it with organic matter. Water regularly to establish healthy growth.

Ferns and Shade Loving Plants 02

#7 – Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds around trees offer a unique approach to landscaping. They provide defined planting areas and elevate the aesthetic appeal.


  • Adds depth and structure.
  • Separates tree space.
  • Facilitates gardening.
  • Improves drainage.
  • Enhances accessibility.

Action Steps:

Construct raised beds with durable materials like timber or stone. Ensure proper drainage and consider planting edibles, herbs, or flowering plants. Be mindful of the tree’s root system when building.

Raised Garden Beds

#8 – Tree-Wrapping Benches

Tree-wrapping benches combine seating with the tree trunk itself, creating a functional and visually appealing element in your landscape.


  • Maximises tree shade.
  • Creates a unique focal point.
  • Offers versatile seating.
  • Adds a touch of artistry.
  • Utilises space efficiently.

Action Steps:

Engage a professional to design and build custom benches that wrap around the tree trunk. Ensure comfortable seating and consider adding a backrest for extra comfort.

Ferns and Shade-Loving Plants

#9 – Stone Pathways

Stone pathways winding around tree bases evoke a sense of natural elegance and guide visitors through your garden.


  • Enhances walkability.
  • Connects garden areas.
  • Adds texture and contrast.
  • Reduces soil compaction.
  • Requires minimal maintenance.

Action Steps:

Select natural stone materials that harmonise with your landscape’s theme. Lay the stones in a meandering pattern, allowing plants to grow between them for a more organic look.

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Stone Pathways

#10 – Decorative Lighting

Illuminating your trees with decorative lighting fixtures can transform your outdoor space into a magical wonderland after dark.


  • Extends outdoor enjoyment.
  • Enhances nighttime aesthetics.
  • Increases security.
  • Highlights tree features.
  • Adds ambience.

Action Steps:

Use LED or solar-powered lights for energy efficiency. Install fixtures strategically to avoid damaging tree roots. Experiment with different lighting angles to create captivating shadows and highlights.

Decorative Lighting

Choosing the Perfect Option: Top Factors to Consider

Let’s delve into the key factors to consider when choosing the best option for landscape around trees in Sydney.

Tree Type and Size

Some trees have shallow root systems, while others delve deep into the ground. Consider the specific needs and tolerance levels of your chosen tree species.

Large, established trees may benefit from ground covers or raised garden beds, while smaller trees may thrive with decorative mulch rings or native plantings.

Aesthetic Vision

Are you aiming for a rustic, natural look with wood chip mulching and native plantings, or do you prefer a more structured and formal appearance with stone pathways or raised garden beds?

Consider how the chosen option complements the existing elements of your garden, such as other plants, hardscapes, and outdoor structures.

The landscaping choice should enhance the overall visual harmony of your outdoor oasis.

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Maintenance Commitment

Some options, like ground covers and ferns, are relatively low-maintenance, while others, such as raised garden beds or stone pathways, may demand more attention.

Assess your willingness and availability to maintain your chosen option. Factor in tasks like weeding, watering, pruning, and occasional repairs.

Choosing an option that aligns with your maintenance commitment will ensure the long-term health and beauty of your landscape.

Environmental Impact

Native plantings, for instance, support local wildlife and contribute to biodiversity. Wood chip mulching can help conserve soil moisture and reduce the need for irrigation.

On the other hand, stone pathways may require more resources for installation but offer long-term durability.

Assess the environmental benefits and drawbacks of each option, and strive for a balance between aesthetics and sustainability.

Budget and Resources

Some options, like ground covers or wood chip mulching, are cost-effective and require minimal investment.

Others, such as decorative lighting or custom-built benches, may entail a higher initial cost. Take into account not only the upfront expenses but also long-term costs related to maintenance and materials.

Local Climate and Conditions

Sydney’s climate can be challenging, with hot, dry summers and occasional heavy rainfall. Consider how each option interacts with the local climate and soil conditions.

Native plantings are adapted to these conditions and often require less irrigation. Stone pathways may withstand heavy rains better than wood chips.

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Transform Your Outdoor Haven with Manna Landscapes

Ready to turn your landscaping dreams into a reality? At Manna Landscapes, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Whether you seek personalised advice, expert insights, or a detailed quote for your project, our team of professionals is at your service.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and embark on the journey to create a breathtaking outdoor space that celebrates Sydney’s natural beauty and enhances the area around your trees.

Contact Manna Landscapes today and claim your 100% obligation-free design consultation.