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removing grass under maple trees without damage to the trees

Posted by ElizabethD22 5 (My Page) on
Sun, May 1, 11 at 1:03

Hi - I've come across these forums several times as I try to find answers to my gardening questions online and specifically joined up just so I could post this question. I've searched the forums and not seen a specific answer to my problem.

I live on a 100x200' lot with a small house, and very little landscaping aside from some aged maples near the road. I'm trying to get my lot planted with small trees, shrubs, perennials, etc. but I have to do the work myself and don't have a lot of extra $$ for fancy equipment, so it's a long slow process. I HATE MOWING, at least with the gas mower it takes to get this lawn mowed in the time I have, so my plan is to replace the lawn with mulch, groundcover, and other landscaping and just wind up with some small ovals in the front and back yards that I can mow with a reel mower (which I do enjoy using). I am planning to kill off most of the lawn using a combination of vinegar, plastic solarization, mulch, etc. as I do not want to use chemicals.

My main question for now is, how do I clear the grass out from under the maple trees? I'm assuming I can't do the solarization method, because it would hurt the tree roots, likewise the vinegar, or am I incorrect? Should I use just newspaper mulch and wood chips, or is there another way to do this with as little damage to the trees as possible? We're talking about a lot of grass here...

If this question has been answered elsewhere on the forums, please send me the link. I've looked around and the only postings I found became discussions about whether or not chemicals are safe to use. Assuming I don't use chemicals, what's the best way to get rid of this grass? Thanks - Elizabeth

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: removing grass under maple trees without damage to the trees

The best wat to accomplish this is to lay down some newspaper and cover them with a mulch to hide the paper and to keep that paper in place. The grass, now deprived of access to sunlight, will die out and feed the Soil Food Web.

RE: removing grass under maple trees without damage to the trees

Elizabeth, others who can explain this better may post, but meanwhile PLEASE read about what soil solarization does beside kill the grass. It will also destroy all the beneficials in your soil. Ditto re restraint using plastic. Newspaper/cardboard topped with mulch will most definitely do the job.

HTH, Rosie

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