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Weed control near trees

Posted by mosquitogang201 GA (My Page) on
Sun, May 4, 14 at 11:53

What's the best way to control weeds near trees? I live on a half acre lot that has a couple older trees and several young trees that I am trying to grow. My lawn is overrun with weeds, mostly annuals but there are also a couple hundred dandelions. Last year I let my father-in-law treat the yard, we used Bonus S (atrazine) and also a three-way Weed-B-Gone a couple weeks apart. This took care of weeds for the year but also killed off 3 trees I had planted and damaged the older trees (lots of curling leaves). We were careful not to get anything on the trees so it must have been picked up by the roots.

I've considered spot treating the dandelions this year, putting down a pre-emergent this fall, and hoping that will take care of most of it. Are pre-emergents safe to use around newly transplanted trees? I'm planning to plant 2 or 3 more this fall. Every pre-em label I have read says it can only be used near "established" trees but does not define how established it must be. Is there any other advice anyone can offer?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Weed control near trees

How near? Newly planted trees can have mulch mats to keep weeds down. You can buy them or make your own from cardboard, carpet, felt, etc.

RE: Weed control near trees

I do have a ~3ft diameter circle of pine straw around the new trees so that I don't have to mow up against the trunk. Which helps but is not enough to keep any herbicides out of the root zone.

RE: Weed control near trees

The general guideline is that it takes 2 years for a tree to become established.

RE: Weed control near trees

You can try spot treatment but at that rate, you could also try the weed-claw-puller-outer which grabs plants like dandelions and pulls out their taproot. It will seem daunting at first, with a couple of hundred dandelions, but even a plan like planting 40,000 daffodil bulbs begins with the first one, so just do it over several days.

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