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  1. #1
    I'm not sure if this is a tree question or not, but I got such good advice the last time I asked a question here, I decided to give it a try.

    I have a very large front lawn, over a quarter acre, which contains two large Norway Maples, that are actually somewhat appealing. Each about 60 feet tall. When I moved in last year, the roots at the base were all exposed, no mulch, with very sparse grass starting about 20 feet from the trunks mixed with various weeds. Over the past year I've worked to fix all that,--added mulch to about 15 feet from the trunks in all directions, then added light soil, some compost, fertilized, killed the weeds, and reseeded. I did not cover any exposed roots with soil , just mulch. Now it looks much better, but even beyond the driplines of the trees, the grass is sparse and unable to handle any stress, such as the summer heat. It's plain to see that the farther one goes away from these trees, the better the grass grows.

    I know the roots of trees can extend far beyond the driplines, but does that mean the two cannot co-exist? In other words, if I work harder on enriching the soil around the trees, is it likely I can get the grass to grow properly?

    Or would it be an endless/losing battle?

    I had an arborist out to prune them, because of their size, and he made it plain he didn't like them as a species, and said they would never co-exist with a nice lawn.

    All comments are appreciated.

  2. #2
    I can't provide any advise, but I would recommend enjoying your Norway maples.** The large tree's in our backyard, (way back when)... Douglas Fir..... it really wasn't a water issue, it had to do with the PH of the soil.** The PH was so far off, we would have to treat the soil to get the grass to grow.*

    A little extra water would also help.

    Backyard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Dave,

    I don't know how I missed your question, but please forgive.* :?* Though I'm not an arborist, I am a tree enthusiast.* I agree with your arborist about Norway maples.* Most arborists call them junk or weed trees.* They suck up all the moisture from the soil with their massive roots and it's nearly impossible to get grass to grow under their canopy.* You could do a soil test to see what might be missing from your soil for your turf, but keep in mind that whatever you feed the turf that covers the roots of the tree, you will be feeding your tree.* That might not be a good thing for the tree.* Here's some sites on how tree roots grow, turf and trees and how to mulch trees.*
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/WO017
    http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/02926.html
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/trees_turf.aspx
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mature_care.aspx

    This site has some helpful info on trees.* It doesn't have pretty pics, but loads of other helpful stuff.* Here's the species of Norway maple aka Acer platanoides.
    http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/trees/ACEPLAA.pdf

    You can read about the selected cultivars here to see if you might be able to id exactly which ones you have.
    http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/trees/common.html#N

    Hope that helps,
    Newt



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