On the surface, trees appear as though they would be the most durable component of a yard. After all, there is a good chance that your trees are even older than your house. Based on the sheer thickness and strength of trees, it is easy to forget that they are in fact delicate organisms that can easily be harmed through sloppy lawn care. One of the easiest ways to damage them is to mow carelessly; below, we explain some of the problems caused to them and offer some tips for mowing around them, ensuring that your lawn and trees are able to grow successfully and remain healthy at the same time.
What are some of the dangers of mowing around trees?
Lawn mowers and trimmers can wreak havoc on trees if one is not careful. When the mower cuts into the tree, this chips away at the tree’s surface and makes it less able to defend itself against the elements. As a result, disease and pests can then harm the tree. It is also damaging to mow over the roots, as the blades can tear into them. When you consider that adult trees typically have only several major roots, cutting into even one of them can have a pronounced effect on reducing the root system. Furthermore, it is easy for the mower to damage the bark, which is especially harmful considering that bark contains vital nutrients. In short, when your mower or trimmer chips away at trees, it is easy for them to become dislodged, which can lead to the tree falling—obviously a safety hazard for your property. For this reason, you need to take great care to avoid coming into contact with trees when using your mower or trimmer.
How should you mow around trees?
Before mowing, take a few minutes to clear away any twigs, branches, or other debris. Then, designate an area of 3-5 feet around the perimeter of the tree, and the mower should not penetrate the boundary. This will ensure that the tree and its root system remain untouched by the blade. When you near the boundary, slow down your pace, ensuring that you do not come into contact with the tree. If you do have grass around the exposed roots of the tree, cut the grass by hand using shears. Finally, it is best not to install edging around trees, as this can interfere with the roots and impede their growth.
Trees are one of the most visually impressive aspects of any lawn, and they are instrumental in providing shade and comfort. Recognize the dangers of mowing near trees and follow the safe practice outlined in this post in order to keep your trees safe and healthy.