Trees in Turf

Mulching around trees is good horticultural practice

Trees in Turf

Trees are often planted in lawns and bordering sports fields, but trees and turf have different water requirements. Frequently, trees are installed with a dedicated water source and the turf is watered with over- head spray irrigation. The combination of the two irrigation sources, combined with improper planting techniques means most trees planted in turf grass are overwatered stressed and often unhealthy.

These concerns can be addressed through proper planting and maintenance techniques. Trees planted in turf grass should be planted a few inches above the grade of the turf (actual height above grade will depend on the size of the tree and site conditions), and the turf should be cut away from the base of the tree 2 – 4 feet to create a mulch ring. Install a layer of mulch 2-4 inches deep tapering away from the root crown.

The last step is directing spray irrigation away from the trunk to avoid damage from repetitive spray. A mulch ring of 2-4 feet is adequate for planting 15 gallon and 24 inch box trees, keep in mind that the mulch ring should grow with the tree.