Getting Trees and Lawns to Live Together Happily

10

SEPTEMBER, 2018

DIY
Lawn Care

Trees and lawns don’t get along particularly well. They compete for nutrients and sunshine, and tree roots don’t like getting mowed. You might also find tree roots hidden in grass become tripping hazards. So, what can we do so they can both exist peacefully in the same garden?

You might notice little tree saplings popping up through your garden. This is your tree suckering. Your tree sends up new shoots when the roots are damaged or hit an obstacle. Usually mowing is the cause of the damage. Check to see if you are hitting roots and you may need to raise your mowing height to avoid them.

Another problem mowing can cause around trees is ring-barking. This is when the bark around the base of the tree comes off. Ring-barking is a sign of stress and typically means you are mowing or whipper snipping too close to the tree trunk. Leave a bit of distance around the base. You could even fill that space in with mulch to keep it looking neat.

Leaving a berth around the trunk will also benefit your lawn. The tree and grass will compete for nutrients, water and light, leaving grass thinning around the base. By keeping a distance, the lawn will get more light and grow thicker and healthier.

However, a lawn that is in shaded areas should be mowed a bit higher, so it has more opportunity to absorb light.

Be careful levelling soil around a tree for a new lawn. Try to avoid digging out roots or adding soil over them. Extra soil could alter the surrounding Co2/ Oxygen ratio and lead to stress in the tree.

Hopefully, you can be well on your way to a happy co-existing yard. It might also be best to consider if the type of tree or lawn is suitable before one of them causes too much trouble.

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