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Other trees

trees next to building

Young trees with a decurrent growth habit (oaks, maples and other trees with a broad canopy) that require full or partial sun planted under or near the canopy of established trees often bend toward the sunlight and develop a one-sided canopy.

This may be the intention in some cases and could help create a special effect. In other situations shade tolerant trees are better suited for planting in the shade of established trees because they often develop a more uniform canopy.

Chemicals produced in the leaves, trunk, roots and fruit of some trees slows or prevents growth of other plants. This is called allelopathy. For example, walnut trees produce a substance called juglone that inhibits trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants from growing near the tree.

It might be difficult to establish other trees nearby. Sycamore, eucalyptus and hackberry inhibit growth of grasses and herbaceous plants. Sumacs inhibit Douglas fir. Redwood bark mulch can slow root growth on some trees.

Some grasses may also inhibit growth of trees. Much of this is not well understood and we have a great deal to learn about this phenomena.