Help - clumps of grass around new trees

Hi - I planted hundreds of new trees from seedlings (mostly maple). I also planted my lawn at the same time and the lawn seed blew into the tree area. I use a tow-behind tiller that will get 99% of the job done, except I have these dense clumps of grass around each tree. The maple trees are more like bushes than trees, and I don;t know how to easily get rid of these clumps of grass around each tree.
I was thinking of getting a 5 hp front tine tiller, but (as the trees are like bushes) I'm afraid of tearing-up all those bottom branches.
I was also thinking of one of those mini-tillers. I think they would do *less* damage to those bottom branches, but I'm wondering if these small tillers would take forever to cut-up that sod/grass clump.
Or, should I just leave it? The trees are a couple of years old and are about 2 feet tall now. Would the grass have much of an effect on the tree growth? The clumps are about 12x12 or 16x16. As it is lawn grass, I expect it will grow less than a foot high.
I tried manually tilling/removing the grass. Let's just say that's not an option.
Thanks.
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I wouldn't mess with the soil at the roots of each little tree... if that grass really bothers you then toss a bucket of sawdust mulch at each tree. Mulch will smother the grass and keep the root area more moist so the trees will grow faster. Just don't pile the mulch up onto the little trunks. If there's a sawmill nearby you can probably get all the sawdust you need for free. You should go around with a pair of hand pruners and clip the very bottom branches of the seedlings, you want single trunks, not bushes.. and the pruning will force the tree's energy to grow height rather than width.
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wrote:

That's the method I'm using here. Don't know if it will work, but I'm attempting. Trees are juniper ashe. Some branches actually touch the ground if left to their own devices. Trees vary in height from 10' to over 30'. I'm simply walking up the trunk to a 7' height with a chainsaw. The trees addressed are those in areas I mow. The rest I'm leaving alone to give birds and other wildlife cover, have 5 acres/ ~1 acre mowed. A few trees done this way a few years ago seem to be growing up primarily, instead of out. This gives competing live oaks some more sun.
--
Dave



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"Dioclese" <NONE> wrote in message wrote:

think mine are some kind of cedar. What are your plans for 5 acres of these trees; they apparently have commercial value as fence posts.
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/54344 /
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