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Old 05-27-2019, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Midvale, Idaho
1,569 posts, read 2,484,863 times
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I sprayed to begin with then piled grass clippings making sure not to get them too close to the trunk. Crlwl under the tree once a year and pull whatever comes up now. My pine trees still have low branches and they shade the ground helping to slow weed growth. I have finally about licked this weed problem now after 11 years fighting it. I also let the needles and cones lay where they fall. And my pines are finally really starting to look like trees. Not shrubs.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:44 PM
 
Location: NC
7,229 posts, read 8,930,408 times
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Putting a 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch in a circle several feet around the base of a tree is certainly not the same as heaping all the mulch in a giant volcano at the base. Imagine a flat place mat with a hole cut in the middle for the trunk. The idea is not to build a hotel for mice and bugs at the base of the tree.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:14 PM
 
12,709 posts, read 17,326,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LesLucid View Post
^^^This. I always liked walking through a stand of pines. There was a soft cushion of pine needles and little undergrowth.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, and from days long past sitting through botany and evolution classes, I seem to recall that it is thought that pine species use the method of laying down a thick mat of needles to reduce competition from other plants from growing near their base. Maybe some younger biologist here can refresh my memory?

I agree on walking through a pine forest. I grew up on a farm in the Pineywoods of eastern Texas.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
10,365 posts, read 3,578,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
Somewhere in the back of my mind, and from days long past sitting through botany and evolution classes, I seem to recall that it is thought that pine species use the method of laying down a thick mat of needles to reduce competition from other plants from growing near their base. Maybe some younger biologist here can refresh my memory?

I agree on walking through a pine forest. I grew up on a farm in the Pineywoods of eastern Texas.

This is the way of nature-----the best way. Many people on this thread want to make this more complicated and toxic than it has to be. The needles and cones of the trees are the best mulch. If you need to have a manicured look, the trees won't do as well.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Maryland
2,279 posts, read 840,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
I thought piling mulch right next to tree bases was not advised.

Looks like most of the weeds are dandelions. Can’t you remove them using hand tools?
Piling mulch up against the exposed bark of tress is a bad idea. The bark of the tree above ground is not the same as that found on roots. Pile mulch around the base of the tree’s exposed bark and it will hold moisture against the tree and you’ll soon be getting mold and rot starting. It’s a pretty good way to kill trees in fact, piling soil and mulch that can hold moisture and conceal the sunlight.
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:12 PM
 
2,737 posts, read 947,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
Somewhere in the back of my mind, and from days long past sitting through botany and evolution classes, I seem to recall that it is thought that pine species use the method of laying down a thick mat of needles to reduce competition from other plants from growing near their base. Maybe some younger biologist here can refresh my memory?

I agree on walking through a pine forest. I grew up on a farm in the Pineywoods of eastern Texas.
Yes, using pine needles as mulch is a good thing and it should extend to the drip line but stay away from the trunk of the tree. Think about what a healthy pine forest looks like!
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:43 PM
 
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Thanks for all the advice. I will spray Roundup on the weeds wait and then hoe the stubborn ones. Then will apply mulch but leave room around the tree.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Floribama
15,885 posts, read 32,993,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
Somewhere in the back of my mind, and from days long past sitting through botany and evolution classes, I seem to recall that it is thought that pine species use the method of laying down a thick mat of needles to reduce competition from other plants from growing near their base. Maybe some younger biologist here can refresh my memory?

I agree on walking through a pine forest. I grew up on a farm in the Pineywoods of eastern Texas.
Actually, it’s best if pine forests have a controlled burn every few years to prevent that thick buildup. What happens is fine feeder roots will make their way up through the duff layer, and then inevitably during a drought year there will be a wildfire, and when all of those feeder roots get burned off the trees will perish.

Most pines are very tolerant to low intensity fires, but if the litter builds up for decades the fire will become too intense and the trees will be totally consumed.
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