Fruit trees are grown for their produce. You want your fruit trees to be as healthy as possible. You should give them perfect growing conditions.
If you follow good cultural practices everything will be fine. If you don’t, you may see weeds around your fruit trees.
These are hard to get rid of. Normal ways to get rid of weeds aren’t suitable here, because you might harm your precious tree in the procedure.
Removing grass around fruit trees
If you see grass around your fruit trees, you need to eliminate the grass as early as possible. There are various ways to do this without affecting the tree.
Herbicides safe for fruit trees
Choose those herbicides which are labeled as safe for fruit trees. By doing this you can avoid lots of unwanted issues.
There are some herbicides that work wonders to control weeds in orchards. If you use a granular pre-emergent herbicide make sure it is 1 foot away from the trunk of the tree.
If you use liquid herbicide, spray it evenly around the target tree. Water the soil well after applying the liquid herbicide.
Napropamide and Flumioxazin work well for all trees.
How do you kill grass without harming trees?
You can read the label on the Glyphosate bottle. It’ll show if your tree is sensitive to Roundup(Glyphosate) and if it works on that weed.
- If the weeds are low in number, you can just hand-pull them.
- I’d rather enjoy eliminating those pesky weeds. I just burn them with a propane gas torch. If needed, cover the tree trunk with cardboard or some cover.
- Spread a thick layer of wood chip mulch. If the tree is already suffering from weeds, put an 8-inch layer of mulch. Once the weeds stop growing, reduce the mulch to 3-4 inches.
- Alternatively, you can use Compost or well rotten manure to mulch your tree.
Can you use Roundup around fruit trees?
As we all know Roundup(Glyphosate) kills weeds quite effectively. It is commonly used in orchards to control weeds.
Spot spraying Roundup is the best way to control weeds around your fruit trees. You can use a special nozzle for that.
Spray it directly onto the weeds, it becomes inactive once it goes into the soil.
Can a tree recover from Roundup?
Did you accidentally spray Roundup on your fruit tree? Ideally, Roundup should be used at the base of the trees and directly at the weeds.
Roundup doesn’t harm established trees. It may harm seedlings of desirable plants. You should avoid spraying Roundup near seedlings.
It harms only when sprayed on leaves. If you sprayed a small amount on the bark accidentally, don’t panic. Watch out for any signs that indicate herbicide damage.
- Spray the tree with as much water as possible.
- Till the soil lightly around the tree, don’t harm the roots. Add 3-4 inches of activated charcoal to the soil. If possible spray liquid charcoal slurry onto the affected soil.
Controlling grass around fruit trees
Prevention is better than cure. This age-old adage stands true in our context too. You need to prevent weed growth as much as possible.
Let’s see some ways to do that effectively.
Is it OK to put landscape fabric around trees?
Landscape fabric is made of materials that are considered harmful to the soil in the long run. The fabric will eventually clog up and block water into the soil.
The pores of the fabric will be filled with soil, blocking oxygen and water from reaching the roots of your tree. Landscape fabric is quite expensive.
Do you want to pay for the fabric and kill your tree? Using organic mulch instead of landscape fabric is what I recommend you do.
Can you put wood chips around fruit trees?
Yes, this is what I do in my orchard. Find a natural, organic wood chip mulch. This would be the best way to prevent weeds from sprouting around your fruit trees.
You can mulch at any time of the year. When you mulch the tree make sure it is at least 6-inches away from the base of the trunk.
If mulch piles up against the trunk, it can cause a lot of harm to the tree.
Is it OK to put gravel around a tree?
Gravel can be spread around a fruit tree to suppress the growth of weeds. Be careful before you do so because the gravel once spread can be hard to move/get rid of.
Gravel can be nice usually but can be problematic in summer. So, if you live in hotter areas you may want to think before you do this.
Is Eucalyptus mulch good for fruit trees?
Eucalyptus shouldn’t be used as mulch directly. Eucalyptus wood chunks release chemicals when in contact with the soil.
These chemicals are pretty harmful to the trees. You can reduce the effect of such chemicals by using composted Eucalyptus.
You can compost Eucalyptus by mixing it up with cardboard pieces and adding the mixture to your compost pile.
Is Pine bark mulch good for fruit trees?
Pine bark mulch works great around fruit trees. It helps to deter the growth of weeds around the fruit trees and the best part is it’s organic.
You are doing the environment well by using organic mulch.
Cedar mulch around fruit trees?
Cedar mulch may be used around some bushes and trees. I recommend you not use it around your fruit trees.
This is because Cedar mulch makes the soil acidic. Fruit trees don’t like to live in acidic soils. Cedar is famously disregarded by many gardeners.