Hearing that seems kind of weird, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised. Trees compete for a limited supply of water an nutrients in the soil and grass not only takes away from trees – it often takes more than trees do. Additionally, you have to mow grass in order to maintain it. And mowing or trimming around a tree’s base can cut and damage roots.
So – do you want grass around your trees’ base? The answer is ‘no.’ But the problem now becomes removing and disposing of the grass, itself – and that’s what we’re going to discuss today.
Before we even get into removing the grass, you should know that you shouldn’t simply leave the ground bare once it’s gone. We’re going to cover the space with mulch so as to lock in some of the moisture from the rain and help in nutrient acquisition and retention. Mulch is always the end point and the best possible thing to use around your tree.
Removing grass using a shovel
If you’re going to use a shovel, just be sure to be careful. Shovels, after all – can cause root damage as well. We recommend that you dig up small patches of grass at a time, digging about 2-4 inches down, being careful as to not hit roots. If the ground is hard and difficult to dig, don’t force it. It could be that a root is underneath that patch of turf.
Once the grass is gone, it’s time to add the mulch – again - 2/4 inches of mulch all the way around the tree just outside the drip line and about five inches from the tree. One more good blast of water later – and you’ll be all set to go.
It sounds a little counter intuitive, but news paper is an extremely effective and safe method to care for your trees and kill the grass surrounding it. The trick is easy. The first thing you’ll do is mow your grass as evenly as possible around the tree’s basin. You’ll then take about 10 sheets of newspaper and wrap it around the tree and then spray it with water. From there, you simply lay the mulch overtop of it and water intensely one more time. Believe it or not – this will kill all the grass within a month and the newspaper will decompose into the soil. So instead of performing surgery, this method might be a bit more effective.
Mulching is a great treat for trees and a great way to maintain balance in your yard both functionally and aesthetically. Be sure to remove that grass from around your trees and enjoy seeing them finally reach their potential. Good luck!