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Fabric weed rings for small trees?

ChoppyChoppy

ChoppyChoppy

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ATH

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Any fabric you out down will slownair and water exchange between the environment and soil. Try pouring water on a brand new one and watch how much rolls off...and that is before it is filled with dirt. Plus, if you mulch around the tree, the tree cannot have the good stuff as that breaks down.

Just use mulch/wood chips.
 
Harmon

Harmon

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The grass will grow through anything, until the trees get big enough and make life difficult for anything that is not a spruce tree. Which kind of spruce tree you got? sitka?
 

ATH

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Won't grass just grow right through mulch?
There are a fee options to help with that.
1) like @sb47 said spray with roundup first. Wait a few days then put the mulch down.
2) put the mulch down first. That will kill most of the grass. Spray whatever comes up through the mulch.
If you are using Roundup just make sure to not get it on any part of the tree... Including the trunk. It is very inactive in the soil so it will not kill the tree through the roots.
3) use newspaper instead of fabric. That will last long enough to kill the grass but it will decompose pretty quickly. The mulch on top of that will then serve to suppress additional grass from coming up.
4) live with a little bit of grass that comes up through the mulch. The mulch will suppress enough of it for the tree to get established. Then the tree can fight for itself. As long as he gets a head start it will win over the grass.
 
buzz sawyer

buzz sawyer

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There are a fee options to help with that.
1) like @sb47 said spray with roundup first. Wait a few days then put the mulch down.
2) put the mulch down first. That will kill most of the grass. Spray whatever comes up through the mulch.
If you are using Roundup just make sure to not get it on any part of the tree... Including the trunk. It is very inactive in the soil so it will not kill the tree through the roots.
3) use newspaper instead of fabric. That will last long enough to kill the grass but it will decompose pretty quickly. The mulch on top of that will then serve to suppress additional grass from coming up.
4) live with a little bit of grass that comes up through the mulch. The mulch will suppress enough of it for the tree to get established. Then the tree can fight for itself. As long as he gets a head start it will win over the grass.
I like option 3. How thick should the newspaper be?
 

sb47

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As many of you know I ran a tree spade for 30 years. What you may not know I also had tree farms that we used to raise the trees we needed.
I would start out buying several thousand starter trees that were in one gallon containers. The trees were only about a foot tall and the trunks were smaller then a tooth pick. After I planted the little starter trees I would use several layers of cardboard to keep the grass away from the trunk extending out about 2 feet from the trunk. It last much longer then news paper and being paper based they will absorb water and are not water proof. That lets the water get in but keep the weeds down. It will last about a year allowing the tree to get all the air and water they needed and acts like mulch by holding the moisture at the trunk from evaporating reducing the need to water so much. You can get all the cardboard you need from almost any store. I would get 1000lb bails at a time. Once the trees got big enough to spray with round up then I switched to using that. Every year I would prune and then spray the trees till they got big enough that the grass and weeds didn't effect the trees anymore. Once the trees got 15 to 20 foot tall with 4'' to 6'' trunks then we started transplanting them to new construction projects. I had several dozen tree fields scattered around the city so didn't have to drive too far to get trees. I can raise starter trees from one gallon to 20 foot tall in about 6 to 7 years. Then I could pull from those fields for several years till the trees got too big to move with a 90" Big John tree spade. I raised thousands of trees this way over 30 years.

Long story short. Cardboard in the beginning and then round up once they got a little bigger, then nothing at all once the trunks got about 2'' and the trees were about 6 to 8 feet tall.
 
ChoppyChoppy

ChoppyChoppy

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The trees were mostly pla
As many of you know I ran a tree spade for 30 years. What you may not know I also had tree farms that we used to raise the trees we needed.
I would start out buying several thousand starter trees that were in one gallon containers. The trees were only about a foot tall and the trunks were smaller then a tooth pick. After I planted the little starter trees I would use several layers of cardboard to keep the grass away from the trunk extending out about 2 feet from the trunk. It last much longer then news paper and being paper based they will absorb water and are not water proof. That lets the water get in but keep the weeds down. It will last about a year allowing the tree to get all the air and water they needed and acts like mulch by holding the moisture at the trunk from evaporating reducing the need to water so much. You can get all the cardboard you need from almost any store. I would get 1000lb bails at a time. Once the trees got big enough to spray with round up then I switched to using that. Every year I would prune and then spray the trees till they got big enough that the grass and weeds didn't effect the trees anymore. Once the trees got 15 to 20 foot tall with 4'' to 6'' trunks then we started transplanting them to new construction projects. I had several dozen tree fields scattered around the city so didn't have to drive too far to get trees. I can raise starter trees from one gallon to 20 foot tall in about 6 to 7 years. Then I could pull from those fields for several years till the trees got too big to move with a 90" Big John tree spade. I raised thousands of trees this way over 30 years.

Long story short. Cardboard in the beginning and then round up once they got a little bigger, then nothing at all once the trunks got about 2'' and the trees were about 6 to 8 feet tall.
Most of my trees are 2-4" dbh. A few I've replanted are smaller.

I've just been mowing as close as practical and once or twice a summer weed eating.

Can I chop the top off the biggest ones to even out the heights a bit? Or will that kill the tree?

Once the snow melts and yard dries out, I do need to cut the bottom branches off several so I can mow with eating spruce needles.
 

sb47

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The trees were mostly pla

Most of my trees are 2-4" dbh. A few I've replanted are smaller.

I've just been mowing as close as practical and once or twice a summer weed eating.

Can I chop the top off the biggest ones to even out the heights a bit? Or will that kill the tree?

Once the snow melts and yard dries out, I do need to cut the bottom branches off several so I can mow with eating spruce needles.
I don't know about spruce but cutting the leader on a pine is a big no no. Not that it will kill the tree but it will slow growth and make for an odd looking tree. On pine trees I just pruned the lower limbs as needed leaving a healthy top for growth. Using a weed eater on small trees is a big no no because you can do perminet harm to the trunk. That can cause the tree to be weak down close to the ground where most of the sheer force is. The grass and weeds won't kill the tree but it may slow growth when they are small. Doing nothing doesn't look great but won't hurt anything.
 
ChoppyChoppy

ChoppyChoppy

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I don't know about spruce but cutting the leader on a pine is a big no no. Not that it will kill the tree but it will slow growth and make for an odd looking tree. On pine trees I just pruned the lower limbs as needed leaving a healthy top for growth. Using a weed eater on small trees is a big no no because you can do perminet harm to the trunk. That can cause the tree to be weak down close to the ground where most of the sheer force is. The grass and weeds won't kill the tree but it may slow growth when they are small. Doing nothing doesn't look great but won't hurt anything.
I can run a weed eater without hitting stuff with it. I get within 1/4" or so of the trees and leave the remaining grass. Been doing that for years.

Unlike my neighbor who destroyed the bottom of his house siding with a cheap electric unit.

He came over asking if the Stihl I was using was special. Nope, just don't run the string into everything!
 
ChoppyChoppy

ChoppyChoppy

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I am looking for some larger wire loom to put a 6" length at the base though. Would make weed eating quicker if I didn't have to b so precise with not hitting the trees.
 
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