I've been reading all the great advice about soil prep, and it's really been valuable. But now that I'm at the point where I need to get started, I have some questions about protecting the trees while I redo the lawn. Just bought a house in Sacramento last fall. Other than planting a few herbs, we pretty much just left the backyard as it was to see what would happen during the wet season. After an especially hard rain, we found out that our neighbors had solved their drainage problems by pitching their yards toward us. The "soil" is an extremely compact clay. In the summer, it takes a pick-axe to make a small hole for planting. So, we will need to fix the soil problems, regrade, install sprinklers, and install a drainage system in order to take whatever water does accumulate after all this out to the street. We would like to scrape off what little grass there is, mix in compost, and then hydroseed with a drought and shade tolerant grass mix. We've just had the trees pruned and thinned out, and now pretty much all of the lawn gets direct sunlight at some point in the day. If we want to protect the trees that are here, (mulberry is shown, but there are several other trees on the lot - just can't figure out how to attach multiple pics), but would also like some lawn. When we dig up the lawn area, how far away do we need to stay from the trees in order to make sure we don't damage them? Any other suggestions on our plan would be appreciated. We're trying to get the place ready so that we can have our wedding in the backyard next summer.