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Landscape Fabric Around New Trees - Cutting and Placement

Updated on July 13, 2019
our row of pine trees
our row of pine trees

Adding Fabric Around an Existing Tree

We planted trees this spring and now, that it is summer, the dirt around the tree has been filled in with miscellaneous types of grasses that do not need to be there. So, my husband was going to mow and asked if I'd remove the weeds and add a bit of landscape fabric around the trees so he could mow the grass nearby, but wouldn't injure the trees.

Landscape Fabric

What I refer to as landscape fabric is a roll of black cloth-like material that is cut to size and placed on the ground and covered with dirt. The fabric keeps the moisture around the plant protected, but provides a barrier for emerging nuisances like grass and dandelions.

It is easily cut with a pair of scissors. I had some kindergarten Fiskar's scissors that fit in my pocket and was using them to cut the cloth. They worked wonderfully.

The Arbor History of These Trees

The trees that we planted in the front of our property are called Colorado Blue Spruce. They are a pine tree and they are expected to become great, as in large trees. Unfortunately, in the seventeen years we have been living here, we have started and replaced an unimaginable number of these trees.

We have had mishaps. Affectionate memories of trees planted. At one time, our children's friends would congregate here and mow the lawn, or weed eat, or help split firewood, just because it was something to do, and we allowed it.

One such year, we had just planted trees, but again, there were weeds built up around the mini trees, and one of the kids was mowing and mowed off all of the trees. The poor kid. When we were a little agitated about the trees, he called his mother and she came out, picked him up and took him home. He never came back out.

We are trying to get approximately eight trees to grow across the front as a windbreak and privacy fence. Well. They die.

Apparently, you have a seven year window for tree survival. As we round our third seven year bout, we have a couple trees that stand proudly, veterans of the process and many smaller trees that are making it, and these last two trees that needed a little love and attention for their grasses that were taking over.

Keeping up With the Joneses

Isn't that the phrase, keeping up with the Joneses. Usually you have some neighbor that has a perfectly manicured lawn, all the way down the line to probably using a tape measure to mow their lawn, Every bush placed just so, and a color scheme that makes sense.

Well. Not here. We have, don't get me wrong, used tape measures to place our plants. But, in suffering losses, and various volunteer plants here and there, we have gotten sloppy. A variable patchwork quilt of sorts. A tree in the front yard dies, and we replace with some readily available weed tree, and the cycle begins again.

Kids Gone But Have Dog Now

The children have all grown up and gotten married and are no longer here to help do things. I miss that.

However, we do have a their dog that helps a little. Not in the way that we'd like, but, in it's own way. The dog is very old and isn't always feeling the best, doesn't always have the best judgement and spends much of its time, trying to chase the cat.

An inventory of loss created by the dog:

  • dug up the newly fabric-ed trees
  • chewed up the freshly weeded asparagus plants
  • dug the strawberry plants out of the planter trying to reach some chipmunks
  • ah, the list goes on....

Fabric Process

I unrolled the fabric and cut strips that were about fifteen inches wide. My roll is four foot wide and 100 foot long.

Then, I cut the strips in thirds, so they were approximately 15 inch squares. I cut a slit in the middle so when I placed the fabric around the tree, the tree fit inside the slit and then covered the fabric with dirt.

This was the fabric that bothered the dog and she pulled them out from around the tree.

Yes. There were words spoken. Nobody showed up in a car and picked up the dog, however, so I guess we're all over it.

old, serrated steak knife, works perfectly for cutting sod and removing weeds. Red tape is so when I lay it down, I can find it in the grass.
old, serrated steak knife, works perfectly for cutting sod and removing weeds. Red tape is so when I lay it down, I can find it in the grass.
cutting out roots of weeds and grass
cutting out roots of weeds and grass
physically pulling out roots with grass
physically pulling out roots with grass
tossing away
tossing away

Adding the Fabric and Dirt

cut a square of fabric
cut a square of fabric
sharp Fiskars scissors
sharp Fiskars scissors
cut slit for tree
cut slit for tree
put around tree
put around tree
start covering with dirt
start covering with dirt
cover with dirt
cover with dirt
cover with dirt
cover with dirt
cover with dirt
cover with dirt

Colorado Blue Spruce an Evergreen

As you can see by the following picture, their branches are quite attractive. Green all year around, even in the winter. Hence the term Evergreen.


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