To clear the area for your trees, use your spade shovel to cut straight down into the grass. The flat shovel was good for cutting under the roots of the grass to keep the sod in big pieces. Try not to get too close to the tree's roots. We want to keep them in tact. Major tree roots often grow within a few inches of the soil surface. Some species, such as maples, grow roots particularly close to the surface. Mulch the area under the tree with compost and/or wood chips. These materials are porous enough to allow sufficient oxygen supply to the soil and may actually encourage fine root growth. Acting as an insulator, the mulch will minimize frost-heaving and erosion. Our subsidiary, Organic Solutions Inc., has many high quality varieties of hardwood mulch for our Chicagoland readers.
There are so many benefits to keeping a good layer of mulch around your trees and plants. You'll do much less weeding, and as a result need to water your plants and trees less. Mulch will even help the tree's root get the much needed water they need.
Back to clearing ... Early in the year, when the soil is moist, cover the cleared area with the mulch or your choice. This helps retain moisture near the roots, reduces competition from weeds, and means there is no need to use grass-cutting machinery near the tree where it might damage the bark.
If you follow these steps your tree clearing should be a success for you and a major benefit for your trees - especially young trees. Remember tree clearing isn't chopping down thousands of trees in the rainforest. When it's on your property, tree clearing is helping your trees grow big and strong.
As always, if you have questions about your tree's care, contact your local tree service. As a Chicago tree service, they are well versed in all this and will give you the assistance you need. Those of you that are local to the Chicago area, Trees "R" Us, Inc. will help you with the care of your trees. In addition, their plant health care division has several Chicago certified arborists that are highly trained in caring for plants and trees.
To read more on how to care for your younger trees, click I here and here.
Thanks for reading,
President and CEO, Trees "R" Us, Inc.