using round-up around trees?

kansasfruiterJune 23, 2010


We have a community garden of 30 fruit trees. It is on a drip system and looks great except for the grass. The landscaper who has been leading the project wants to use round-up around the tree to kill the grass. Is this an approved method. I would hate to kill the grass.


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I have been using glyphosate around the base of my trees to control weeds and grasses for over 30 years with no problems at all, and certainly no harm to the trees. I don't know what you mean when you say you would hate to kill the grass, since perennial weed grasses like wiregrass are often a major part of the problem around the trees. I apply it at least twice during the season, and if I did not the weeds and grasses would be an ugly mess.

Glyphosate (Roundup) stays put right where it is sprayed, unlike 2,4-D which can vaporize and damage nearby dicotyledonous plants. Choose a day to spray with low winds and no thunderstorms in prospect for at least 3 hours. The alternative is to pull out all the weeds by hand, and many of the deep-rooted perennials are impossible to pull out.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:24PM
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Thanks Don,
I meant that I would hate to kill the trees (not grass). I appreciate the advice.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:27PM
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alan haigh

Yeah, watch out for that 2,4-D, I have a client with badly shriveled leaves on his pears from an application of that stuff that volatized. It was applied by a very expensive landscape management company (expensive should not to be confused with the word competent). Trees will live, but on a million dollar landscape they are an eyesore.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:12AM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi KansasFruiter-
I recently posted a similar thread on this. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roundup around base of apple trees

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 8:10AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

In the Napa valley grape growing industry, roundup is a major component of the weed control strategy. Special sprayers are manufactured just for that purpose. Al

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 9:33AM
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blackrag(6A East PA)

I'll be a bit cautious using Round-Up around young trees. I believe it may have been the cause or one of the causes that took out my 2 year old orchard last year. I got some interesting feedback on the same question at the link below. I have since replanted and things are going well so far. I guess my inexperienced opinion might be that it could be fine around more mature trees but I'm going to keep it away from my babies right now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Round-Up in the Orchard?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 3:18PM
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alan haigh

We've covered this issue here before. As I recall, young trees are more likely damaged by Roundup with summer applications when there's carbohydrate movement to the roots. Anything green can certainly deliver roundup to roots if the foods going that way. Young bark tends to be green (chloraphyl)

Stone fruit is particularly vulnerable.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:50PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

I use it, but nowhere near my fruit trees.

Spray on a day that is absolutely dead calm so the wind can't transport droplets.

I would hold a barrier between the spray and the trees (sheet of cardboard, tarp...). You don't want to get so much as a drop on a leaf of a tree you want to keep.

I'd use a nice thick mulch up close to the trees to kill the weeds and keep the spray further back.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:54PM
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I killed a young apple tree with Roundup. It had been planted recently from bare root stock. Other than that there have been no issues. I figure just be damn careful around very young trees.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 3:08PM
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