View Full Version : Mulch Tree Rings With Existing grass?

06-04-2003, 02:47 PM
I've got a customer who i started mowing for when i was in highschool. It was a newly constructed home and they had a bunch of tree's planted. The planter raised them up a little bit since the lawn isn't flat and put down a thin level of pine bark chips. At that time i didn't really care what happened to the trees, and i just mowed around it and trimmed. Over the years the pine chips have gotten displaced from weed whacking around the trees, and now there is normal grass growing on the tree ring. Trimming all the tree's is a major PITA, so i'm going to suggest that we (I) do a mulch job on them.

What should I do about the grass that is growing there now? should i just get as close to the dirt as possible with the string trimmer and then lay 3" of mulch down on top if it? or will the grass come up through it? (Keep in mind its not just a couple blades or weeds, its just about as thick as the lawn.)

It's going to be 35-40YD of mulch, so i want to make sure i do it right the first time so i don't have to weed it all out again in a month.

06-04-2003, 03:04 PM
BSD - spray tree rings with Round-up and Surflan (oryzalin) if you can find it, then mulch. No weeds for 1 season.


06-04-2003, 03:10 PM
I just did that to my yard. I rented a bed edger and made nice rings around 90% of my trees / shrubs. I then sprayed the grass inside the ring w/ Round up. The Mrs. huffed the 10 cu yds of mulch. Worked well for me.


Mike Bradbury
06-05-2003, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by jlewis
I just did that to my yard. I rented a bed edger and made nice rings around 90% of my trees / shrubs. I then sprayed the grass inside the ring w/ Round up. The Mrs. huffed the 10 cu yds of mulch. Worked well for me.


For real? :eek:

06-07-2003, 02:40 PM

Just to add - When we did that we also put down a little treflan to inhibit future weeds - I HATE to pull weeds!! The treflan helps to stop the germination and the round up kills what is there. Like a one-two punch. It has worked well for us, but like they said it is good for about one season.

06-08-2003, 07:17 AM
you need 35 -4o yds?-Wow that must be alot of trees! If I had to do that much I would definitely use round-up and add some preemergent-I use snapshot. I am not familiar with a bed edger (yet)but heard they do a great job.-Harry

06-08-2003, 10:11 AM
about 1/2 of it is for recovering existing beds. the rest is for the trees. there are 36 tree's on the property that are planted. i figure each tree needs 1/2 yard, cause the existing mounds are about 6ft in diameter.

I still haven't proposed the idea to them, but i will this week, There is a row of 15-20 pines that are on the edge of the property that i think i'm just going to skip, but that still leaves 20 or so planted trees in the back by the pool, and in the front by the road.

i've been considering renting a bobcat for this job cause i have access to most of the trees from the driveway, i can just align myself with the tree and drive a straight line to the tree dump the load and back out without doing too much turf damage. Its a good 250ft from the spot where i'd have to dump it to the trees, so wheel barrow time would rape me on it.

06-08-2003, 10:17 PM
put a nice edge on it...to make edging a lot easier try to talk them into getting some pavers to make a ring around it...that'll help keep mulch in and grass out. round-up will work but maybe somethin that won't hurt the tree incase you put too much on. Then one 2 cubic foot bag of mulch per tree is what i find works best for coverage/depth. Those bags cost about 2.50 each here in town at Walmart...easy as cake.

06-08-2003, 10:31 PM
these tree's have 6' diameter (minimum) rings built up around them already, it'd cost a fortune to do the pavers around. i think i'll just drop a nice deep edge around it, it'll look better against the grass that way too i think.

06-11-2003, 12:37 PM
You're going to need 40 yards of mulch to do 20 6' tree rings? I'm sure there are beds, but still. I have a property with 80 tree rings (imagine that on a 1.5 acre lot) averaging 6' and along with the landscape beds only came to 25 yards. Are you figuring area of circle or square? Got to bring Pi into the equation or else you will have loads of left over mulch.

06-11-2003, 08:53 PM
i did figure it with circles. i used this: -> pi 3^2 x 36 /27 = 37yd (+ beds) my original estimation was for 36 trees plus the beds.

I recently did some tree rings on my own property and realized i calculated wrong it should be:
pi 3^2 x 36 / 100 = 10.1 yards.

I'm going to be talking with the homeowner this week sometime and confirming he wants the work done.

06-15-2003, 08:43 AM
Try using newspaper to snuff the growth around the trees, then put your mulch on top of it. The newspaper will inhibit growth and will also break down later on. I would try to trim the growth as low as possible first though. Works for me.

06-15-2003, 02:09 PM
newspaper - good idea!