How to Keep Grass and Weeds from Growing Around Trees

Old trees in a forest are surviving because the groundskeeper has learned how to keep grass and weeds from growing around trees. The leaves are creating a natural mulch around the roots, protecting them from seeds and sun.

Maintaining a pristine landscape with healthy trees can be challenging when grass and weeds constantly compete for nutrients. Learning how to keep grass and weeds from growing around trees is essential for preserving tree health and enhancing the beauty of your garden. In this guide, we’ll explore fun and effective strategies for keeping those pesky weeds at bay while ensuring your trees thrive.

Understanding the Challenge

Grass and weeds are notorious for stealing water, nutrients, and sunlight from trees. This competition can stunt tree growth and lead to poor health. To maintain a vibrant landscape, it's crucial to manage the growth of these unwanted plants effectively.

Why It’s Important to Control Grass and Weeds Around Trees

Grass and weeds around trees can:

  • Compete for vital nutrients and water.
  • Harbor pests and diseases.
  • Create a messy and unkempt appearance.
  • Damage tree bark and roots if left unmanaged.

Effective Methods to Keep Grass and Weeds from Growing Around Trees


Mulching is one of the best ways to suppress weed growth and keep grass at bay. Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose the Right Mulch: Organic mulches like wood chips, bark, and straw decompose over time, enriching the soil. Inorganic mulches like gravel and rubber last longer but don't improve soil quality.
  • Apply Properly: Spread a 2-4 inch layer of mulch around the base of the tree, keeping it a few inches away from the trunk to prevent rot.

RELATED: Advice on Weed Control in Mulch Flower Beds

Using Weed Barriers

Weed barriers, such as landscape fabric, can effectively block weed growth. Here’s how to use them:

  • Lay the Fabric: Cut the fabric to fit around the tree and cover the desired area. Make sure to cut a slit for the tree trunk.
  • Secure and Cover: Secure the fabric with landscape pins and cover it with mulch to improve appearance and effectiveness.

Manual Weeding

Regularly pulling weeds by hand can help maintain a weed-free zone around your trees. Here are some tips:

  • Pull Early: Remove weeds while they are young to prevent them from establishing deep roots.
  • Use Tools: Use a hand weeder or hoe to make the job easier and more efficient.

Chemical Solutions

For those who prefer chemical solutions, herbicides can be effective. Pulverize Weed, Brush & Vine Killer from Messinas is a great option. It uses active ingredients to kill weeds and grasses without harming the tree. Here’s how to use it:

  • Application: Spray the herbicide directly on the weeds, avoiding the tree trunk and roots.
  • Frequency: Reapply as needed, following the product’s instructions.

For more details, visit our product page Pulverize Weed, Brush & Vine Killer.

Preventing Weeds with Ground Covers

Ground cover is being used for how to keep grass and weeds from growing around trees.

Planting ground covers can help suppress weed growth. Choose low-growing, spreading plants that create a dense mat. 

Some good options include:

  • Clover: Fixes nitrogen in the soil, enriching it for your trees.
  • Creeping Thyme: Drought-tolerant and fragrant.
  • Periwinkle: Evergreen with attractive flowers.

Additional Tips for Weed Control

Regular Maintenance

Keeping up with regular weeding and mulching can prevent weeds from taking over. Regularly inspect the area around your trees and promptly remove any weeds that sprout up.

Water Wisely

Water your trees deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth. This practice can reduce weed competition as shallowly rooted weeds struggle to compete with well-established tree roots.


Fertilize your trees as needed to ensure they have the nutrients required to compete against weeds. Healthy trees are more resilient and can better withstand competition from grass and weeds.

Messinas Products for Weed Control

Messinas offers a range of effective solutions for controlling weeds and grass around trees. Here’s a highlight of our key product:

Pulverize Weed, Brush & Vine Killer

Pulverize Weed, Brush & Vine Killer is designed to tackle the toughest weeds, grasses, algae, and moss without harming trees. This product is effective for use around trees and other landscaping areas.

Application Directions:

  • Spray Weeds Thoroughly: Apply when the weather is dry and warm for best results.
  • Reapply as Needed: Repeat treatment every few weeks to control new growth.


  • 32 Ounce Trigger Bottle: Up to 65 sq.ft.
  • Gallon Ready to Use: Up to 250 sq.ft.
  • 2.5 Gallon Ready to Use: Up to 500 sq.ft.

For more details, visit Messinas Pulverize Weed, Brush & Vine Killer.

Fun Fact: The Power of Mulch

Mulch being used lightly to help prevent weeds and grass from growing around trees.

Did you know that mulch not only suppresses weeds but also helps retain soil moisture, moderates soil temperature, and improves soil health as it decomposes? It's a win-win for your garden! For more detailed advice on maintaining your garden, visit our blog.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When trying to keep grass and weeds from growing around trees, avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Applying Mulch Too Thickly: Too much mulch can suffocate the roots and cause rot.
  • Ignoring Weed Growth: Regular maintenance is key. Letting weeds grow unchecked can lead to more significant problems down the road.
  • Using the Wrong Products: Always choose products that are safe for use around trees to avoid damaging your plants.

Additional Resources

Maintaining a weed-free area around your trees is crucial for their health and appearance. By following these methods and using quality products like those from Messinas, you can effectively manage grass and weed growth. Trust Messinas to provide the best natural solutions for weed control, ensuring your garden stays beautiful and thriving.

For more tips and products, visit Messinas.

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