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Suggestions for this front yard

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by boxoffire, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    I took these pics of this ladies front yard with pear tree and bare ground which gets a bit messy when it rains. The grass has all died. I'm assuming mostly because of all of the shade the tree causes. The tree probably needs to be thinned out for one thing. Customer wants grass growing here again. It's kinda damp from recent rains here. I figure early spring to do this. Notice the roots around tree coming out of the graound. I was thinking of suggesting mulch a couple of feet around the tree and planting a more shade tolerant cool season grass around where everything is bare. What do you folks think? Any suggestions on the roots coming out of the ground even farther away than 2 feet? Do you think trimming the tree and thinning it out a bit will enable grass to stay there once it germinates in spring?

    And on the last picture in her back yard, she kinda doesn't like looking at her neighbors natural wooded area along with other garbage/limbs and wanted suggestions of some type of shrubbery planted in a row maybe to prevent their leaves from blowing into her yard and probably to block out some of the scenery of neighbors yard as well. Any suggestions on what I might suggest to her would be appreciated.

    Have a great 2007 everybody. :usflag:



  2. ACutAbovesiny

    ACutAbovesiny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    You've got to love all those roots:rolleyes: .
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Thin out the tree and put down good no rock top soil. Get someone to hydro seed the area.

    Back yard if you can put rhododendrons's. They keep there leaves in winter and will grow fast enough with the proper light and fert to screen the other yard.

    I'm very sure others will have some good pointers too.
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Looks to me like a maple not a pear but whatever I'm not an arborist.

    I'd recommend taking the tree out, grinding the stumps and roots, and replanting a 1-1.5" caliper tree off the house and walkway with a perennial bed (hostas, daylillies, etc.). Then till the front yard and ammend with whatever soil test says it needs.

    As for the back, if she wants to totally block the neighbors I's plant a few rows of arborvitae's. If deer are a problem in that area forget it. I'd go with some 6' spruces...maybe green & blue offset from one another across the entire backyard.

    Is their a budget for this?
  5. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    I'm not really familiar with your zone but you need a several evergreen bushes to hide that wooded dump site. Sell them on evergreen bushes in the back of a bed and some flowering perenials in the front of the bed for color.
    Out front I would make a 6 ft (radius) tree ring under the tree and put some shady ground cover. Add 3-5 inches of soil or compost and throw in some ground cover plugs. You will never get grass to stay more than a year or 2 under that tree. Do the large tree ring planting and then add some loam to the grassy areas for a seed bed. Good luck.
  6. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    I forgot to tell you to loosen the ground up alittle before you put the top soil down. It will stay in place better in the event of heavy rain. The rodes will give you flowers in spring to liven up the place.
  7. Allure

    Allure LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    I would avoid adding topsoil inside the tree's drip line. Why not work with the existing conditions & install a bed of shade tolerant perennials or a shade tolerant ground cover. Grass will compete with the tree for water more than a shade tolerant ground cover.

    1. Raising the Grade - Soil Fills inside a tree's drip line
    Soil Fills are bad because:

    the soil oxygen-carbon dioxide balance is changed reducing the soil aeration.

    they disturb the soil profile, often resulting in poor drainage.

    Smothered roots have their oxygen supply cut off. The most common method of smothering roots is through changing the grade, that is, adding more topsoil or fill dirt to the existing contour of the area. This cuts off the water supply, too. For some tree species, only a few inches of fill is enough to do serious damage. Roots can also be smothered by "temporary" piles of soil placed inside a tree's drip line or by pools of water impounded by construction activities.

    Also, adding topsoil without tilling it into the existing soil can impact the drainage on the site.
    when your soil is made up of different layers, water will saturate one layer before moving into the next.

  8. TurfdudeNCSU

    TurfdudeNCSU LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Good Luck with grass growing there!!
    I would make a nice size bed under there that connects the sidewalk all the way around to the corner of the house area and plant with some ground cover (ex. mondo grass) and maybe even a few shade shrubs. Problably no chance of grass there.
    And the back I would do a row of ligustrums or tea olives that will have a good screen.
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Your not adding soil. your replacing it. you now have exposed roots that will dry out and could kill the tree if more are exposed.
  10. Allure

    Allure LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    many trees have surface roots (think silver maple) & don't require additional fill to be brought in. These surface roots do not lead to the tree's demise. this tree seems to be doing just fine with the current conditions.
    If you are adding top soil you should be tilling it in. The tilling will cause even more damage to the root system.

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