Artificial Turf and Trees

If you are experiencing major problems growing turf, then you may want to consider artificial turf as an alternative.

Made famous when the Astrodome in Houston, Texas used it because natural grass would not grow in a covered stadium, artificial turf has become popular among sports franchises, and some colleges and high schools as an alternative to natural turf because it is easy to maintain.

The turf consists of synthetic fibers like polypropylene or polyethylene, usually has several layers including backing, cushioning, two or three drainage layers and infill that is often recycled rubber tires or natural cork. It is meant to simulate the look and feel of natural grass. Overtime the cover has become somewhat popular among owners of homes.

Reasons why someone would want their lawn to be of artificial turf is because it comes in a variety of colors, styles and heights so you can select the turf that fits best in your surroundings. There is no maintenance involved in the caring of the turf. There is no need to water, fertilize or mow.

Artificial turf around trees can present a problem. (Courtesy: SYNLawn of Southern California at flickr.com)

Artificial turf around trees can present a problem.
(Courtesy: SYNLawn of Southern California at flickr.com)

Reasons why some people may pass on artificial turf is that it is expensive and actually a long-term investment, it can release an unpleasant, rubbery odor on hot days and it collects dust and leaves. No one knows for sure how it affects soil creatures including earthworms, insects, or soil microbes.

Although you don’t have to water, mow, or fertilize it, artificial turf does require some maintenance. For example, the turf needs to be periodically cleaned of dust and leaves. A leaf blower, flexible garden rake, a broom with stiff bristles or a splash of water from a garden hose will suffice in cleansing the cover. You may also need to sweep it with a broom to get the “grass” to stand upright. The material is stain resistant. So the remnants of pee from your dog or some other stain can be cleaned with soap and water or vinegar and water.

Some wonder if artificial turf could offer problems for trees. Many homeowners experience difficulty growing natural grass near trees because the canopy of the tree may cause too much shade. Quality artificial turf features pores to permit water and oxygen to flow through. However, there are varieties that don’t include pores. This type of artificial turf will kill and sterilize the soil beneath it causing the soil life to die.

Obviously, if you intend to put artificial turf around trees, it is advised you use turf that feature pores. Still, the porous turf can present problems. For example, the turf absorbs heat and the buildup could harm tree roots and soil organisms that are not able to withstand hot conditions. In the south and southwest, trees may be accustomed to the heat and will not be threatened by the artificial turf. However, trees grown in northern regions of the country prefer cooler soil and may not be able to withstand the temperature change. It is advised that in northern regions a natural cover would be best around trees.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.

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