I need to kill existing grass and sod the service area in front of my home
(between sidewalk and curb) using Round-Up or the equivalent, but there are
two medium sized trees in the area. Can I safely do a "surface" grass kill
without harming the trees?
No, the tree, assuming it's established and not
recently planted, will suffer no ill effects other than
the sprouts dying if you get it on them, and that
doesn't usually matter. Especially around the base of
the tree it won't hurt much. Just be sure to spray
where you intend, not all over the place. Take your
time and be accurate as reasonable.
I kill of my cherry tree sprouts like that every
year. The tree's thriving. Whatever the killer
touches will absorb it, and pull it into the plant.
Trees however are quite large and older healthy trees
won't be affected by the little bit of roundup.
One caveat: air temperature.
The bottle usually says "do not apply over 80F" or something like that.
If you spray when it is too hot, you may experience the spray
evaporating from the grass under the tree, and depositing on the leaves
of the tree. You may injure or even kill the tree.
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Depends on the type trees. I use it quite a lot and have found that
cedars don't like it at all. Sweet gum may show some leaf browning if
spray gets on any suckers. However, most hardwood trees tolerate it
Roundup is not a universal plant killer - some plants are just not
affected by it.
The cambium layer in a plant carries nutrients & water back & forth
within the plant. This layer is between the bark and the wood. If the
bark is dense and tough, it protects the cambium layer from roundup. If
the bark is soft, like cedar, roundup can be absorbed through the bark
much like through leafs.
In your case, instead of drilled holes you may have done better to peal
the root bark and apply full strength roundup to the pealed area. But
then bottle brush may be one of those plants that roundup doesn't
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