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Weak Grass Solutions for Those Living in Mature Subdivisions

Posted by Lora Zibman in Garden, Lawn | 0 comments

Trees that were planted years ago and fit in the yard so beautifully back then, have grown bigger and now have killed the turf areas beneath them. We see this problem in as much as 75% of all yards in mature subdivisions! It’s just a brutal fact of nature – trees and turf cannot coexist.

Look around the forest and think about what you see; usually it’s just mulch and not much else, other than a few shade-loving, very tenacious little plants. The roots that sustain the tree, and the shade the tree provides, simply win the battle so the turf dies off little by little making your yard look awful.

There are solutions. First and foremost, remove the low branches in order to raise the canopy and let more light make it to the turf. Many times you can simply do this and enlarge the mulch ring around the tree as the tree grows to solve the problem.

Tree Ring

Weak Grass


Sometimes the position of the tree and the turf that is killed affect entire sections of landscape. When this is the case, you have to be realistic and creative, and change the bed lines to abandon the weak or dead turf, and replace it with mulch or pine straw. Use marking paint or an unrolled garden hose to help you play with different configurations for the new bed lines. Try and be proactive and plan for further tree growth when creating/re-establishing new bed lines.

Reconfig Bed

Weak Grass

Next you’ll have to wait until the grass greens up in the spring so you can spray whatever grass or weeds survived under the mulch with Roundup. If you miss some grass, you can always spray it again later. You will be amazed at how crisp and clean the yard looks again when there is clear demarcation between the grass and beds.

The most extreme solution would be to have the tree removed. In some cases, this may be the best solution if you favor lawn space, but it’s worth to try other solutions first.

If you would like a quote on a maintaining your landscape, or just assistance with a single issue, SEL can help   We can make the recommendations and do the work to ensure that your lawn and property look their best – winter, spring, summer and fall.


SEL SMALL LOGONow providing residential landscaping/yard work in: Alpharetta, Berkeley Lake, Cumming, Duluth, Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Milton, Norcross, Peachtree Corners, Roswell, Sandy Springs and Suwanee

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