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weeds that grow under pine trees

Weeds that grow under pine trees

After removing weeds through cultivation, applying a layer of mulch works well to prevent more weeds from growing in the future. Mulch has an initial cost and takes some work to spread, but it does not require very much maintenance. Mulch also provides extra nutrients to the trees and helps the soil retain moisture.

Cultivation is the practice of weeding and tilling around the base of trees to get rid of unwanted weeds. Although cultivation can theoretically be used as a primary weed prevention method, many gardeners do not want to spend enough time cultivating to get rid of weeds with this method alone. Therefore, it is a good idea to cultivate an area before planting pine trees and before applying mulch around the bases of the trees. Gardeners should simply use a hoe or shallow tiller to remove weeds when the soil is moist after irrigation or rainfall.

Many gardeners dislike weeds growing around their pine trees. They make a yard look less cared for, and they can spread from the area beneath a pine tree to a nearby vegetable garden or landscape. Weeds also compete with trees for water and soil nutrients and can reduce the health and size of trees or other plants that they grow near. A combination of weeding and mulching is usually the best way to keep weeds from growing under pine trees. Herbicides are not recommended because some can harm pine trees can can be difficult to apply.


An organic mulch, such as a mulch made from bark and fallen pine needles, works well to prevent weeds and return nutrients to the soil. Organic mulches may need to be reapplied about once per year, because they break down over time. Fabric mulches are a longer lasting option, and they can work for as long as 10 years. However, many gardeners find fabric mulches unattractive, and they also do not add nutrients to the soil like organic mulches do. The type of mulch to use around a pine tree is a matter of personal preference.

Plan on applying at least 3 inches of mulch to sufficiently prevent weeds. Apply the layer all around the base of the pine tree, but make sure to keep the mulch at least 6 to 12 inches away from the tree trunk. Mulches hold lots of moisture, and trees tend to have problems with diseases and insects when their trunks are consistently wet. Do not apply organic mulch over fabric mulch, because these mulches layered over each other can cause weeds to germinate.


Lisa Chinn developed her research skills while working at a research university library. She writes for numerous publications, specializing in gardening, home care, wellness, copywriting, style and travel. Chinn also designs marketing materials, holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and is working toward a PhD in cognitive neuroscience.

Weeds that grow under pine trees

I took a cardboard box and split it in half and then cut out sections for the trunk.

The trees are huge! You can imagine how hard it is to reach in and pull the weeds/grasses out. I usually do it a couple of times in the summer and I either roast wearing my jean jacket or totally scratch up my arms. I just hate seeing the grasses/weeds under the trees.

I’ve been using cardboard for years in one of my flower gardens to prevent weeds. This weekend I figured out that I should just use the cardboard around the tree base to prevent the weeds from growing under the trees.

I have some beautiful trees in my back yard. I love the look and the privacy they offer. But, the weeds!! I think I’ve finally come up with a good way of preventing weeks under trees.

Just an fyi, I needed to use three cardboard sections to fully surround the tree base. Two just wasn’t enough and I wanted to be sure I was totally covering the area where the grass/weeds were growing.

Then I pushed the cardboard under the tree branches.

See the pine needles on the cardboard. Well they got everywhere. In my hair, clothes, everywhere! Ummm, everywhere! But, I’m preventing weeds under trees so it’s a really worthwhile project!!

In the spring I’ll put a layer of mulch over the cardboard. But, for now, you really can’t see the cardboard unless you are looking right under the tree. I am so looking forward to weedless tree beds next year! We are experiencing some warm bonus days here in Wisconsin. I am fully taking advastage of them to make my next year’s gardening easier!