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Old 04-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
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How can I make my front look better? (pic)


Ever since Iíve moved into this house the tree in the front lawn has been an eye sore. I am told the tree is basically sucking up all the water hence why the grass all around it doesnít grow. There was a point in time when I was watering every day and the grass seemed to come back, but it didnít make much of a difference aside from doubling my water bill.

I am looking for ideas on how to make this better. One of my ideas was to put boulders/armour stone or some sort of stone around the tree and put more top soil in there to cover all the roots. Along with this I was also considering running a soaker hose direct to the tree so when I have my sprinkler going there is also water going directly around the tree as an added extra.

Essentially Iíd like to get my grass back and cover up the roots. I donít know much about landscaping or lawn care so I am open to all suggestions.



Here is a google street view from the summer just for reference:


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Old 04-11-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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This is the type of look I was thinking of going for. I think it would be affordable and it would look great once it ages.



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Old 04-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
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It would look nice. It's all about your tastes. You could add some soil to the area and plant some perennials to give it some color and added interest. Trying to grow grass there is a losing battle.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
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Adding soil to the top of roots isn't all that great and can smother the roots depending on how much you add. I'd try some grass seed for shaded areas. I had a tree once that did similar things to my lawn, but with proper seeding and care, you can keep it looking like it's suppose to. A layer of mulch and edging would look nice too, but there again some say not to use mulch at the base of a tree.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
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Home Depot near me just finished putting mounds of mulch around the base of all their trees. It looks nice. Not sure if it's good for the trees.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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Home Depot near me just finished putting mounds of mulch around the base of all their trees. It looks nice. Not sure if it's good for the trees.
Sometimes on new or freshly planted trees, mulch will be mounded around trees and sloped toward the trunk to make sure water runs to the tree.

Probably not really harmful unless bugs are attacking your tree
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:10 PM   #7
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They're young trees but I don't think they sloped the mulch (or whatever they used) toward the trunk. Here's what it looked like when Google photographed it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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They're young trees but I don't think they sloped the mulch (or whatever they used) toward the trunk. Here's what it looked like when Google photographed it.

Yeah this is pretty common. Easier to maintain and mow around. I personally don't think mulch is much of a concern around trees, but some do. As long as you remove the old stuff before you add new mulch, you should be okay.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:00 PM   #9
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I think the shade of the tree has more to do with the grass not growing under it than lack of water. You certainly do not need to water the tree anymore.

Why not select some nice, varied and richly colored and textured groundcovers that will thrive under the tree instead of turf? Retain either groundcovers or mulch with headerboard and use gentle curves so you can race your mower around the curves.

Turf is the highest maintenance planting of any in the landscape.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:51 PM   #10
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Where are you located, you should add that to your profile so we can give more specific answers.

I agree with ground cover. Or, native woodland plants (Forbes/grasses/sedges ) that are suited to your region and shade.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:22 AM   #11
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Mine has somewhat similar roots. I used cedar mulch.


Also, Christmas lights in April don't help much.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:45 AM   #12
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What type tree is it?
I 100% agree it the shade causing th lack of grass for the most part.
Some trees self protect there turf by producing a toxin or acidic soils with there leaves.
Oaks are one that comes to mind.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:55 AM   #13
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I am located in north Toronto.

As far as the shade, it could be. I've used the shade seeds, didn't seem to do much.

The summer picture is when the previous owner had the house and the grass seemed better, I am not sure how they were treating it. After I moved in, the grass around the tree went downhill.

As far as the christmas lights, the weather has been ridiculous here so I haven't had a chance to do anything...just had an "ice" storm today and it's snowing.

In regards to the tree, I am not sure what kind it is, I can take better pics if that helps to identify it.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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Where are you located, you should add that to your profile so we can give more specific answers.

I agree with ground cover. Or, native woodland plants (Forbes/grasses/sedges ) that are suited to your region and shade.
So it seems the general consensus is to do rocks around the tree with groundcover?

Can anyone recommend some decorative landscaping rocks to be used around my tree?
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:38 AM   #15
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Here is a website that lists native plants to Ontario, this link is specificity woodland (shade loving) species: http://ontariowildflowers.com/main/habitat.php?type=1

I would suggest Wild Ginger (Asarum Canadense) with taller wild flowers interspersed, maybe Fringed Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum) and Wild Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis).

These are native perennials and once established will take care of themselves (maintenance free) since they are "meant" to be there.

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