I wish people would stop killing their trees...

Home Stager with Round Rock Home Stager Austin Home Staging

While walking through our greenbelt this morning, I came across a home that has done some yard work in the last new tree bed will likely choke treecouple of weeks.  This particular update is fairly common, and one of the worst things you can do when it comes to the health of your trees:

Creating a raised bed around an established tree will likely choke the tree and kill it.

When a tree is planted, it is important to put it at the proper depth.  There is a point where the roots meet the trunk - this is sometimes called a Crown, or as I refer to it, a Collar.  To me, the name Collar makes better sense simply because if you bury the Collar, you will Choke your tree and it will die. That's how important the depth is.

Here's a small picture from TreeHelp.com that shows you the proper depth to plant a tree and how the Crown/Collar should be slightly above the ground: 

From Tree Help.com




When you go to an established tree that was most likely planted at the proper depth, and add six to ten inches of bricks around it, and at least that much in soil and mulch inside the bricks, you might be making it look nice, but it will be interesting to see it come Spring time. This tree is likely bearing its last batch of fruit.

A better use of your time and budget if you are preparing your home for sale is to go out to the tree with your gardening instruments, and loosen the existing mulch.  I use the "Garden Weasel" at our house, but you could use a garden rake or a small shovel.  Once it's loosened up, you can sprinkle some fresh mulch over the top and the bed will look as good as new.  No need for bricks or bags and bags of mulch.  I also recommend Spike style tree fertilizer at this point to give the leaves a little extra green. In Texas, many trees don't loose their leaves until January or February, so keeping them green is important.

For more information on how deep a tree should be planted, visit: http://www.treehelp.com/howto/howto-plant-a-tree.asp



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curb appeal
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Leigh Ann Holman
Leigh Ann Holman - Century 21 Glover Town & Country - Clarksville, AR
REALTOR - Century 21, River Valley, Arkansas (479)774-5166

I remember my dad telling me this as a child. He's with the forest service, so it bothered him to see this happen to trees.  Thank you for sharing the knowledge :)

Oct 18, 2010 03:50 AM #1
Hercel Spears
Advanced Realty Education HomeSmart Realty - Tempe, AZ

I can relate to the tree being choked by having something placed around it's collar.  I feel the same way every time I wear a tie.

Oct 18, 2010 03:52 AM #2
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

Good information - thank you.  I didn't know that.

Oct 18, 2010 04:04 AM #3
Michael Fontana
Round Rock Home Stager Austin Home Staging - Round Rock, TX
@ The Stage Coach

@Leigh Ann: Thanks for the backup!

@Hercel: That makes two of us!  Good analogy.

@Sandi: Thanks for stopping!

The Stage Coach - Austin's Home Staging HandyMan!


Oct 18, 2010 04:26 AM #4
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

I hope alot of people read this post. It's great information that most folks are probaby not aware of. Now I'll be looking for homes with this issue in my own neighborhood!

Oct 18, 2010 04:46 AM #5
Jeff Harris
Austin, TX
Selling Austin. Every Day

We need all the trees we can get.  Thanks for the post.

Oct 18, 2010 06:29 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Michael- it's unfortunate that we sometimes take these beautiful works of nature for granted.  It just takes a few minutes on "Google" or in a conversation with your local nursery to find out the proper way to plant and care for a tree. 

Oct 18, 2010 11:21 AM #7
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

I learn something new every day! Thank you so much!!

Oct 18, 2010 11:57 AM #8
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