Growing Grass Under Treesby David Steg on 02/22/16
Is it Possible or Impossible to Grow Grass Under Trees?
More times than not, we see ugly patches of little to no grass beneath our trees. It seems like a constant defeat to get grass to grow, but fear not! It is possible to grow lush green grass under your trees. There are two factors that make growing grass under trees a rather difficult task. One of the main reasons, is that grass has to compete with the tree roots for water and nutrients. The blades of grass are also shaded by the tree’s canopy, so the grass beneath the tree gets little sunlight.
A few key points to note when trying to promote grass growth under a tree:
- Thin out the tree’s canopy to allow the maximum amount of sunlight to reach the ground. This should be done every few years, but never top off a tree. This will eventually kill it, and is unlawful in may cities.
- Keep the height of grass taller under the tree when mowing. The longer the blades of grass, the better they are able to grab the available sunlight. Also, the longer the grass the deeper the roots, which allow for them to obtain more water.
- Especially in dry weather conditions, water the area under the tree thoroughly. The area under a tree is very dry, since the tree roots will take up as much water as possible. Keeping the ground moist, will promote healthier grass.
If you wish to grow grass under a tree, re-seeding is essential. Most lawns will need to be reseeded very year or two, especially in areas under a tree. For best results, it is important to add enough soil to create a seed bed. This will allow for root growth on the grass and help cover some of the tree roots. Please beware that when adding soil near a tree that it shouldn’t be in large mounds. Adding too much soil can harm your tree. Also, if the soil is too close to the base of the tree, it can cause the trunk to rot or promote fungus. It is best to contact an arborist if you plan to add additional soil around a tree.
Some tree’s will not allow for grass to grow, no matter what you do. Instead of wasting time and money, it may be best to mulch those areas. Again, be sure to spread the mulch thinly and evenly to keep your tree happy and healthy.