Black Plastic Weed Barrier - a killer??

I've just noticed my neighbor laying black plastic on the ground under an old cherry tree and I was just wondering if this is going to interfere with the tree's water uptake. The plastic circles the tree in about a 7 foot radius, as well as 15 feet out another 2/3 of the way around it, under the drip zone. It's a lot of black plastic, and now it looks like bark mulch going on top. Will water get through to the roots? Is she inadvertantly killing the tree in order to keep weeds out of what appears to be a new flower bed going in? Will there be masses of slugs reproducing under it? Yikes!
karen portland, or
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it is porous That is the material that properly should be used in the situation you describe.

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Yes, landscape fabric. Not plastic garbage bags laid out, not a black tarpaulin, etc., LANDSCAPE FABRIC! Preferably professional landscape fabric. It costs a little more, but the additional cost is worth it.
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Yes, I think it is a very heavy landscape fabric after all. I've not seen before stuff that reflect lights like this. All I could see was a black shine. Looking closer I can see texture.
karen

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situation
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It's a big huge mistake to use black plastic and prevent the gas exchange, roots to surface. I don't care if it's landscape fabric plastic with all those holes. They are horrible, they don't work as the weeds which prevail go right through them and it is very hard for water to permeate down to the soil. It gets soaked up by the mulch and lays there on top.
Yes, she is producing a problem.
opined:

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I use fabric, but MY weeds grow right thru it. When I pull the weed it leaves big holes in the fabric. I can't win. Black plastic just degrades over a 2 year span anyway, IE just get's brittle and disintegrates, even when covered with wood chip's. Sorry to say this ,but I use Round Up or Finaly....? Spelling ? To deal with my weeds.

with
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