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radiumglow

07:30AM | 04/25/04
Member Since: 02/16/03
5 lifetime posts
Bvlawn
I have a huge maple tree in my backyard that becuase of shade I assume, will not allow grass to grow under it. I have tried last several years to grow new grass and failed.

I was thinking of making a border and filling in the large area surrounding the tree (now just dirt) with a layer of lava rock.

Any ideas if this will hurt, harm tree?

Thanks

treebeard

03:19AM | 04/26/04
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
Air and water in the soil that tree roots search for to feed the tree enter the ground only through the ground surface. Keeping the ground surface under the tree where the roots are as porous as possible will allow for those things to penetrate the soil to the level where the roots exist. Paving the area with concrete, asphalt, and even sometimes pavers will cut back severely, or eliminate the source of nourishment for the tree. Leaving the grund bare under the tree but making heavy use of the area such that the soil is packed or compacted very tightly will do the same thing...water will run off and not penetrate.

So, whatever you do, don't raise the grade over the roots, don't pack or compacted the area, and any 'cover' you put there should be as porous as possible.

How big is that area? General rule of thumb is to consider the root zone to be the same area covered by the spread of the branches. It's actually smaller than that, but it's a good guide.
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