One is the Loneliest Number: Companion Planting for Trees

companion tree planting showing row of cherry trees

From Alder and Cherry to Lemon and Willow, all trees need nutrients to grow. To get the most from your plants, you must give them the best start in life. So, when designing the perfect backyard or corporate center, make sure to incorporate other plants that will help replenish the right nutrients into the soil for your trees. This practice is known as “companion planting” and while it is beneficial for all plants, trees (especially fruit trees) will absolutely thrive, not to mention be a place of immense beauty.

In addition to professional tree care and maintenance, companion planting can help repel pests, animals, diseases, and fungi. Fruit trees are susceptible to diseases and fungal infections, so you should find companion plants that are naturally resistant to fungal infections. It will really pay off to research and find plants that achieve multiple benefits for a particular type of tree. Here are a few of those benefits and some of these fall under more than one category, so you get multiple benefits from one plant.

Controlling Pests

Look for plants with strong scents. Ornamental onions and garlic, marigolds, lemongrass, allium, nasturtiums, and carnivorous plants will help keep away annoying or potentially dangerous insects.

Disease & Fungus Resistant

Peonies, geranium, bee balm, mums, daisies, and pansies- each one of these is resistant to a different type of disease, covering several mildews and blights. They can help provide an inoculation against infections, and they also look very nice planted around the base of a tree.

Animal Defense

Depending on your location, you may need to repel some critters to let your trees grow without being eaten or trampled first. Azaleas, daffodils, bleeding hearts, lamb’s ear, lavender, and mint all emit strong odors to deter pests from above and below.


This area is best saved for a professional to avoid issues with nutrient absorption in trees, but you can still help keep the soil balanced by adding a Mustard plant in the space between trees; it will provide lots of organic material to compost in the soil, while also repelling pests and nematodes.

No matter how you plan your ideal patch of paradise, it is important to do some research and find the best possible long-term companionship arrangement. Also, keep in mind that you may encounter suggestions of plants that are considered invasive species in your area and may have laws surrounding the use of them. Finally, always consult your tree service professional to get ideas and insight into the best plan of action for your needs.