How to Edge Trees & Flower Beds


Edge your trees and flower beds to create a neat appearance and provide a space for your mulch, which helps keep moisture near your plants' roots. The best time of year to edge is in the spring or fall. Edging takes time to be done right, since each cut must be even or the finished product will look sloppy. Get creative in edging your garden bed; create curves or slopes for a whimsical look, or use straight lines for a formal garden.

Step 1

Lay out string to use as a guideline, running the string along the area where you intend to edge the garden bed. Step back and check out your work, then make any adjustments to the size and shape of your planned edge.

Step 2

Edge trees with a handheld edger, which resembles a shovel with an even, curved edge. To make the edge, slip the edger into the ground and cut through the grass into the soil. Then remove your edger and position it to the side of the cut you just made. Slip the edger into the soil again to make a second cut.

Step 3

Work in this manner until you've loosened the sod all around the tree trunk. Then pull it up using a shovel. Remove all sod between the edge you made and the tree trunk. Layer 3 to 4 inches of mulch in this crater to landscape your edging around trees.

Step 4

Edge large flower beds using a manual edger, which operates with a wheel. Stick the edger through the grass into the sod, then run the edger along the planned edge of your garden bed. Work in this manner until you've created a straight or curved edge along the flower bed.

Step 5

Pull up the sod by hand. Add topsoil or mulch to even out the grade between the grass and the flower bed.

Things You'll Need

  • String
  • Handheld edger
  • Manual edger


  • Garden Manuals: How to Edge Your Lawn
  • Gardeners World: Cutting Clean Edges
  • Less Lawn: Edge Your Planting Beds
Keywords: edge tree, edge flower bed, edge lawn

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.