- It’s time to prune Oaks – especially Live Oaks and Red Oaks. To avoid the chance of your trees contracting Oak Wilt disease, necessary pruning should be done before February 1, 1995. The risky and inappropriate time for Oak pruning is February 1 through June 15. (According to Texas Forest Service).
- For the best root development, aerification is the key. Our deep root invigoration process helps considerably with aeration as well as providing your trees with the nutrients required for good growth in our soils. Fertilization and inspection programs are available.
- Turf grass and Trees …….. As most of you know, it is extremely difficult to have both beautiful, healthy trees and a wonderful lawn. These two types of plants are inherently incompatible.
Trees originated in forests with rich, fertile soils and surface layers covered with decomposing leaves and other organic material. Yet in many of our landscapes we attempt to grow trees in compacted, disturbed soils with aggressive turf grass competition over the entire root zone. This competition with grass along with the absence of a humus layer, restricts the development of the absorbing fine roots. Further, mowing and weed management also lead to tree problems; mechanical bark damage from line trimmers and mowers, as well as the use of herbicides, can cause severe damage to trees whose roots are within the treated area. Although herbicides that can cause tree damage have precautionary statements on their labels, most applicators do not realize that tree roots extend 2-3 times the branch system. Therefore, herbicide injury is a frequent occurrence. Trees cause problems for the grass. Excessive shade limits photosynthesis and the subsequent production of carbohydrates necessary for turf growth. Most turf grasses do well in full sun, may tolerate partial shade, and barely survive in heavy shade.
The most effective strategy to improve conditions for trees is to maintain large, mulched areas around them. Eliminate grass and use mulch. A shade tolerant ground cover such as Vinca, English Ivy, Moneywort, or others, can then be introduced into the mulched area, if desired.
For small trees the mulch area should extend to the drip line. Dramatic growth response can be expected because the mulch improves aeration in the upper portions of the soil, improves water retention and moderates soil temperatures, further, as the mulch decomposes, nutrients become available to the tree.
Tree-Turf conflicts will always be with us, however, beautiful landscapes are attainable if we use the right plants in locations and environments in which they are best suited.by Kevin Bassett - first published in November, 1994