The Q&A Archives: Build a tree ring around a mature oak

Question: My oak tree which is 100 ft tall drops a ton of acorns on my yard and has killed alot of my grass. I want to build a tree ring around it's base but am afraid it will hurt the tree. I am continually fitting baby oaks trees which sprout up around the area beneath the tree which make me yard look horrible. I really want to clean the area up and landscape it but I am afraid to hurt the big tree.

Answer: I'd be really cautious of building anything beneath your oak tree. Changing the soil level can kill the roots, as can planting anything beneath it. I'm afraid the best solution is to rake up or vacuum up the acorns in the fall when most of them have dropped. You might be able to install weed barrier landscape fabric under the canopy of the tree to stop acorns from sprouting or at least from rooting in the soil. You can top the weed barrier with an inch or two of bark to disguise it. Weed barrier fabric has tiny holes that allow moisture to trickle through but blocks sunlight so seeds won't sprout. Hope it works for you!

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