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River Rocks - Rocks Around Trees
Category Landscape Rocks
Improving your yard’s appearance may be a top priority, and putting decorative rocks around trees could be an excellent way to begin. The type of decorative stones and beach pebbles you use will vary based on your landscaping plans, budget, community guidelines, and more. However, there are a variety of advantages to using decorative rocks. Continue reading to learn about the benefits and things to avoid when it comes to this type of landscaping feature.

Decorative Rocks with Mulch

Simply throwing decorative rocks around a tree would be a bad idea. Trees need to be protected, and without mulch or lining, the stones could heat up and harm a tree’s roots. It’s best, and often more affordable, to place decorative rocks over mulch. Even though stones such as polished black pebbles can retain heat and potentially suffocate the roots of a tree, mulch will retain moisture and help your trees thrive. The amount of mulch used will depend on the base of the tree and other factors.

Colorful Decorative Rocks

To make the area more appealing, use colorful stones and beach pebbles to highlight the trees in your yard. White pebbles, black river rock, Mexican beach pebbles, and pure gold river rock can draw attention to the trees and flowers in your garden and other areas of the yard. When choosing the accent stones, take the time to measure the tree trunk outward, then decide which types of decorative rocks you want to use and the best ways to place them around the tree.


In addition to requiring less maintenance, decorative rocks are affordable and don’t need to be replaced as often as mulch. However, remember to use a lining that protects the tree roots. Stones are typically non-flammable, which is an advantage if you live in an area that’s prone to wildfires. Decorative rocks can keep weeds away from your trees and other plants, enhancing their appearance and reducing your work in the garden and other areas of your yard. Another benefit is that rocks can prevent soil erosion if you live in a windy environment.

What to Avoid

The roots of some trees extend above the ground, while others have roots beneath the surface. Either way, your job is to protect them and avoid cutting the roots or blocking the oxygen and water they need. Decorative rocks can be an excellent option when used correctly, especially around trees that have roots extending above the ground. However, it’s necessary to leave approximately 10 inches between the tree’s trunk and roots. Avoid using a plastic sheet under the stones because it can block the water and oxygen. Instead, an option such as spongy landscape fabric is a good choice and makes weed pulling less difficult. 

For advice on designing your home’s landscape with river rocks and beach pebbles, reach out to the experts at RS&P Rocks Stones & Pebbles, a premier landscape rock and supply superstore. We specialize in drought-tolerant landscaping materials, including a variety of colored river rock and Mexican beach pebble. To learn how we can help you enhance the character and beauty of your outdoor space, call us today at (866) 380-0580.

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