Should I Remove Grass Around Trees? – Detailed Guide

Remove Grass Around Trees
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Grass around trees may appear to be unimportant, but it is important for the health and well-being of your trees. In this tutorial, we’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of having grass near trees and help you decide whether or not to remove it. Let’s take this crucial landscaping question one step at a time.

The Benefits of Remove Grass Around Trees

Aesthetic Appeal

A well-kept lawn with grass around trees can improve the aesthetic appeal of your landscape.

Erosion Control

Grass aids in the prevention of soil erosion, which is especially significant on slopes or in places prone to severe rainfall.

Weed Suppression

A good grass can suppress the growth of weeds that might otherwise compete for nutrients with your trees.

The Drawbacks of Grass Around Trees

Competition for resources

Grass and trees both require water,nutrients and sunlight. Grass may compete with tree for these essential resources

Root damage

Lawnmowers and other lawn equipment can cause damage to trees when you are mowing around trees

Disease risk

Grass can harbor pests and disease that can effect trees very badly

Factors to Consider when Remove Grass Around Trees

Consider the following factors when deciding whether to remove grass around your trees

Tree species

Different tree species have varying levels of tolerance for grass competition. Investigate your trees’ individual requirements.

Tree Age

Young  trees are more susceptible to grass competition than adult trees.

Options for Managing Grass Around Trees

If you choose to keep grass around your trees, you can take steps to minimize competition and potential harm:

  • Mulching: Apply mulch around the base of the tree to reduce grass growth and retain moisture.
  • Adjust Lawn Care: Raise your lawnmower’s cutting height to avoid damaging tree roots and consider using a mulching mower.
  • Regular Pruning: Prune lower tree branches to allow more sunlight to reach the grass.

When Should Grass be Removed Around the Trees?

In some circumstances, removing grass around trees may be preferable

Young trees

Young trees require more attention and should be given space away from grass competition.

Unhealthy Trees

Removing grass can help your trees recover if they are already afflicted with disease or pests.

Drought Conditions

During droughts, grass can compete with trees for scarce water supplies.

How To Remove Grass Around Trees?

Use a Shovel to Remove Grass Around Trees

  1. Dig up sections of grass with a shovel, being careful not to scrape the tree roots.
  2. Dig two to four inches to ensure that all of the turf (roots and all) is removed.
  3. Don’t force it if an area is difficult to dig. A little root could be hiding beneath that patch of turf.
  4. After you’ve removed the grass, put two to four inches of mulch around the tree, all the way to the drip line.
  5. To avoid attracting pests, keep the mulch at least five inches away from the trunk.
  6. After that, simply water the mulch thoroughly.

Spread the Mulch

After the grass has been cleared, spread mulch all the way around the tree. To obtain the finest effect, add two to three inches of mulch all the way around the tree. Check sure the mulch is at least five inches away from the tree’s trunk.

This is necessary to avoid attracting pests like insects or termites. Water the mulch to ensure a moisture buildup, and you’re good to go. There will be no more unsightly grass, and your yard will now have lovely mulch rings around each base.

Soak the paper in water

Once you’ve got the papers in position, soak them in water and then layer your mulch on top of them. Water once more to properly soak the mulch.

This not only kills the grass but also keeps the paper in place if a strong wind gust comes out of nowhere. Your grass will continue to wilt in the next weeks and will be dead in approximately a month.

Use Newspaper

This may appear to be a strange way of removing grass, but it works if done right. First and foremost, ensure that your grass is cut to an even height. Then get yourself a stack of newspapers.

If at all possible, choose black and white sheets and avoid using sheets with colored pages. Place around ten papers over each piece of grass to be removed. As you work your way around the ideal trees, make sure to overlap the papers.


Is it always a bad idea to have grass around trees?

No, it’s not always a bad idea. Whether grass around trees is detrimental or not depends on various factors, including tree species, age, and maintenance practices.

Can grass compete with trees for nutrients and water?

Yes, grass can compete with trees for essential resources like nutrients and water. This competition can affect the health of both the grass and the trees.

How do I prevent damage to tree roots when mowing around trees?

To prevent damage to tree roots, raise your lawnmower’s cutting height and consider using a mulching mower. Be cautious and avoid hitting the tree trunk with the mower.

Can mulch be used around trees to control grass growth?

Yes, mulch can be an effective way to control grass growth around trees. Apply mulch around the base of the tree to create a barrier against grass competition.


Grass around trees can add to the beauty of your landscape and help with erosion control, but it can also compete for important supplies with trees and potentially harm them. Several elements should be considered, including tree species, age, maintenance procedures, and local climate.

It is critical to achieve a happy medium by modifying lawn care procedures, utilizing mulch, or considering removal when necessary. Prioritizing your trees’ health and vitality will result in a more harmonious and vibrant landscape.

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