March 2017: Trees & Turf: Part 1

At Top Tree LLC, we do our best to promote and give out the best plant and tree health advice we can. No matter what, we welcome any questions you have regarding your trees and plants on your property.

Tree and grass selection, competition among plants, maintenance practices, and special situations must all be considered when trees and turf share a landscape. Woody plants and turfgrasses are critical design elements in urban and suburban landscapes. Trees and turf offer distinct personal, functional, and environmental benefits. The intended benefits of these plants may never be obtained, however, if potential incompatibilities are not addressed.

Thinning grass under large shade trees; large tree roots that hinder mowing; young trees that don’t seem to grow; tree trunks badly damaged by lawn mowers or string trimmers — all of these undesirable effects can be caused by tree and turfgrass conflicts. Turfgrasses provide many of the same environmental benefits as trees. They:

  • take up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen via photosynthesis
  • cool the air by changing water into water vapor
  • filter dust and particulates
  • entrap air polluting gases
  • reduce erosion

Turf grasses, in addition to being environmentally beneficial, are attractive in formal and informal designs. There are many advantages to combining trees and turf in the landscape.

Selection
When trees and turf are used in the same area, extra attention must be given to plant material selection to ensure tree and lawn compatibility. Grass is generally a sun-loving plant. Most species will not grow well in areas that get less than 50 percent open sunlight. However, new shade tolerant grass varieties are being introduced.
In areas where the lawn is the primary design feature, select woody plants that are small, have open canopies (to allow sunlight to penetrate to the ground), or have a high canopy. Select trees that do not root near the soil surface. Surface rooting is most prevalent where shallow topsoil or clay soils are present.

We look forward to helping you with all of your tree removal and tree trimming needs. When, and if, you have any questions about your trees, shrubs, or any other greenery on your property, we can help. We look forward to hearing from you soon because we are your West Richland tree maintenance specialists.

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