Planting Monkey Grass Around Chinese Pistache Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Adele Doss
Amarillo, Te
Question by adoss5107
July 3, 2010
A friend gave me some monkey grass and I would like to know if I can plant it in a ring around my 3 year old chinese pistache?


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Answer from NGA
July 3, 2010

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There are a couple of issues involved with planting perennials and similar around trees. First, you don't want to damage the roots by digging. Wounded roots are susceptible to pests and disease which can harm your tree. Second, it's almost impossible to water both effectively. Trees need deep, infrequent watering that soaks through the entire root zone 3 feet deep. Monkey grass needs more frequent watering that soaks through its root system, about 12 inches deep. Frequent, shallower watering is not good for tree roots, as they will come to the surface seeking that moisture. There's also the issue of salt building up where the shallow watering stops, so the tree roots would be subject to salt burn, which would appear as yellowing leaves. For the long term health of your tree, which is a more significant investment in your landscape, I'd recommend planting the monkey grass elsewhere. Hope this info helps!

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