Planning on building a flower bed? Great!! Planning on building one around a tree? That’s a “No No”!!! By adding another foot or so to the existing soil around a tree, you will cover up the feeder roots that exist within the top layer of soil surrounding the tree. Actually, the additional soil tends to smother the roots thereby taking away all of the moisture and nutrients necessary for healthy tree growth. It, also, can cause rotting of the bark, which will eventually kill the tree. According to an article I read in Gardening How-To, there is a better way to plant small shrubs and flowers around trees. Measure out about 18″ or more from the tree trunk and then tuck them into the soil. Be sure these plants like shade!!!! Then, the roots of the plants will grow along with the tree roots without damage. Now, keep in mind that these plants will compete for water and nutrients so be sure to water regularly and fertilize at least once a year! You will have a lovely landscape without harming your existing shade and flowering trees. This information came from an article in Gardening How-To magazine. Look for the July/August issue and the title of the article is, “Don’t Build Raised Beds Around Trees”, located on page 22.