Adding rocks around trees in your yard can have both advantages and disadvantages, regardless of where you live in Flagler County. However, there are a few considerations specific to our location in Palm Coast, Florida that you should keep in mind when deciding whether to add rocks around your trees.
Rocks tend to absorb and retain heat, especially in areas with intense sunlight and high temperatures in Palm Coast. If you place rocks too close to the base of a tree, they can increase the temperature of the soil, potentially leading to stress or damage to the tree's roots. Not to mention the potential growth of mildew under the rocks you can't see.
During heavy rainfall in Palm Coast rocks can hinder water penetration into the soil, impeding proper drainage and potentially causing water to pool around the tree's base. Excessive moisture around the roots can lead to root rot or other issues.
Soil moisture retention
Rocks can also inhibit moisture retention in the soil. In Florida's warm climate, it's essential to conserve soil moisture, especially during dry spells or drought conditions. Adding organic mulch instead of rocks around the tree can help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and improve overall soil health.
One advantage of using rocks is that they can discourage weed growth around the trees. However, it's important to note that in Florida, certain trees benefit from a layer of mulch, as it helps retain moisture and suppresses weed growth. Proper mulching techniques can effectively manage weeds without the need for rocks.
Discoloration of Rocks
Using white rocks will not retain the color and become dingy from dirt and possible mildew. If you have an irrigation system from a well pump, over time your rocks may stain and turn orange.
Using rocks around your trees and around delicate plants may not be the best option however, using them in the bed or as a border for decorative option may work out nicely. Spraying the rocks with a garden hose with a spray nozzle attached will also keep your rocks cleaner while rinsing off dirt keeping them fresh looking. It's generally recommended to use organic mulch around trees to promote moisture retention, improve soil health, and regulate temperature. If you still prefer rocks, ensure they are placed a sufficient distance away from the tree's base to avoid excessive heat absorption and potential root issues.