The Q&A Archives: Grass mulching trees?

Question: I have an oak tree and some other tree at the back of my property It is always difficut to mow there because of bare spots that stir up alot of dust and grit and roots out of the ground that the mower can hit even at the highest setting. I was thinking that with all the grass and leaf clippings that I get from all parts of my yard, would it be a good idea to make an edgeing of about a foot in height of maybe a small gauge fencing and then fill in around the trees, right over the present grass, so that my riding mower will not have to go close to those roots and such. Will that much grass clipping smother the trees or harm their health in any other way? What do you think. Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

Answer: Pam,

The trees would love a such a blanket of mulch, but it need not be a foot thick. I suggest about 4-6 inches to start and then add a little here and there as you go along. Trees prefer to have a blanket of leaves around them as they would in a forest floor environment. Over time it decomposes to build soil and in the meantime it helps retain moisture and protect the soil surface.

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