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Planting our lawns next to the base of trees is really too close for comfort and creates competition. Despite their attractive features in the landscape, trees and grass are natural rivals and can interfere with each other’s growth.

  • Trees competing with grass will mature at a slower rate – Add mulch over a tree’s root zone. Research shows that trees grow better surrounded by mulch with grass kept at a distance.
  • A tree’s roots do not have the upper hand – It’s a battle royal for oxygen, fertilizer and moisture in the soil. A tree’s feeder roots are located in the upper few inches of soil – the same space as grass roots.
  • Let there be light – Applying a growth regulator called Cambistat will decrease leaf size, allowing more light and rain to filter down and improve the turf’s health. Thinning and lifting tree canopies is also beneficial.

Another reason to separate? Experts say getting rid of grass around older trees improves their fine root density. Hostas, ferns and groundcovers are better companions for trees than grass.

If you need additional suggestions for the tree bases in your landscape, contact ATE for a consultation.