There’s nothing quite like relaxing in the shade of a tree in your own backyard but there are some issues with trees in lawns that need to be considered. While having trees isn’t strictly detrimental to the health of your lawn, there are a few issues…
The obvious one – large roots can cause a multitude of issues especially those close to the surface. They can cause trip hazards and damage to your lawnmower – not to mention your plumbing.
Using a whipper snipper near tree trunks incurs the risk of ring barking or removing the bark from around the tree. Why is this bad? It can cause the death of the tree so give the trunk a wide berth. Chances are the tree is there because you like it and tree loping and stumping removal can be an expensive exercise show; proceed with a little caution.
This is when a tree sends up suckers from the root stock when the roots are disturbed or damaged. In turn, you can end up with saplings springing up throughout your lawn. Be careful when mowing, digging or whipper snipping near trees so you don’t damage the root system and cause suckering. Roots can also sucker if they hit an obstacle – best to avoid planting trees with a very large or spread out root system.
By keeping the lawn longer in the shaded area of the tree you provide a better chance of survival, particularly during the cooler months. Again, be aware of raised roots and dropped branches and seed pods that can be a hazard when mowing.
Trees and your lawn will compete for the same nutrients, water and light which is why you will often found thinning grass around the base of trees. While you can lay a shade tolerant lawn or plant a deciduous tree to reduce the effects of the tree the best course of action is usually to keep the lawn away from the trunk of the tree altogether. This will reduce the competition and eliminate the chance of ring barking and damaging the surface roots when undertaking lawn care maintenance tasks. You can keep the lawn away from the base of the tree by using an edging product such as kerbing, stones or other materials.
Again, obviously, trees will cast shade over your lawn and there are varieties of lawn that don’t like too much shade. Sir Walter often enables good coverage right up to the tree base even under heavy shade conditions. Routine trimming of branches will also help the light to reach the lawn underneath.
When preparing for a new lawn, avoid digging out important tree roots or adding soil over them, even in the attempt to create a level. The extra soil will upset the delicate balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide and lead to issues like death of the tree. Seek expert advice if you are unsure of how to prepare for a new lawn that is home to existing trees.