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Old 08-19-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


As you can see, this area is full shade, and it stays that way all day. Some have suggested pruning the tree to bring in some light. I am a bit nervous about cutting the tree. Are there any tips/rules to keep in mind when performing this task? Thanks!







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Old 08-19-2009, 09:55 AM   #2
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


Have you thought about just a ground cover that will grow in shade?
I think in order to prune it to let enough light in the tree may look bad
I assume you have tried grass seed for shade areas ?

It could also be a water issue, where the tree is sucking up all the water

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Old 08-19-2009, 10:26 PM   #3
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


Dave,

I had considered ground cover and then talked myself out of it, since everyone else on my street has grass. But in reality, the one person who has perennials and ground cover has the same tree and shade as I do. I purchased a flat of pachysandra (about 100 plants for $30) this afternoon, but I am concerned I may have made this purchase too quickly.

To cover my whole lawn (22.5' X 20') is going to be expensive and, contrary to what the salesperson told me, pachysandra is not able to deal with some foot traffic. At this point, I am thinking I am going to remove the ground cover that is currently under the tree and plant the pachysandra, radiating out from the tree. And then I will put some type of border or small fence up.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:05 PM   #4
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


Wait until the leaves drop to prune/thin.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:50 AM   #5
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


The tree can EASILY be pruned at any time to allow more light too the yard without affecting the appearance of it. Call a qualified arborist to prune it properly, it is much to hard to describe how to prune properly and each tree will be different.It looks to be a small tree, so it should not cost that much.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #6
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


Is that a Japanese Maple?
Mine had roots growing very close to the surface
I usually plant ground cover & fill in with mulch until it grows in
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:48 PM   #7
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
The tree can EASILY be pruned at any time to allow more light too the yard without affecting the appearance of it. Call a qualified arborist to prune it properly, it is much to hard to describe how to prune properly and each tree will be different.It looks to be a small tree, so it should not cost that much.
Trees can be pruned at any time, but pruning encourages more growth. It's better to prune when the tree is in a dormant state, like after the leaves have fallen and it gets colder.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:29 AM   #8
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


Just a few things to remember.
You may always have problems growing grass under this tree. You might be better off getting some of the new artifical turf. It is pricey to begin with but it will also not harm your tree, and you can cut areas out to plant some shade loving plants in.

It all depends on how you prune your tree whether it will stimulate growth or cause it to bush out, if you do it correctly you will be able keep the cuts from sending out more branches.
You also should definitely wait until the tree is dormant to do that much pruning. If you do it now it could allow for sun, or insect damage which can cause disease and will most assuredly you will not have to worry about the shade problem a few years from now.
I would reccommend that you contact a Master Gardener in your area by calling the University Extension office and have someone come out and help you with a reccomendation. It is free and they will be able to see what we can't from the photo. They will also know what works best in your area for types of grasses, shade plants and more. Please use these highly trained folks I love going on Master Gardener calls and I am sure who ever comes to see you will be able to put your mind at ease.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:20 AM   #9
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


Quote:
Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
Trees can be pruned at any time, but pruning encourages more growth. It's better to prune when the tree is in a dormant state, like after the leaves have fallen and it gets colder.
Yes it is better to prune when the trees are dormant but if pruned properly does not encourage more growth. If you are talking about "topping", then just don't do that.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:54 PM   #10
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


As we inch ever closer to spring, I am thinking about growing some grass on my front lawn.

Picture of lawn last June.....Very little sun gets to the grass




Here are some pics of the yard taken yesterday





Can I prune the tree so that I can get more sun? Have never pruned it before, and I don't plan on doing anything until I am sure it is the best way to proceed. Thanks for taking a look!


Another thread on my lawn, from last year

Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning

Last edited by joetab24; 03-04-2010 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:35 AM   #11
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


The thread from last year sums up the problem.

It is a Japanese Maple, and while you could prune the tree I think you will still have an issue with getting a lush lawn to grow beneath the canopy. As mentioned in the previous thread, groundcover is your best bet. If you want something to tolerate foot traffic and is evergreen, you could use Vinca (Periwinkle). If you like the look of grass you might consider Liriope or one of the many Sedges- they both tolerate shade and light foot traffic.

If you do prune the tree, now is a good time. I have found Japanese Maples can be damaged if pruned in the middle of the growing season. Dormant pruning, or pruning just as the tree is leafing-out would be the best time. It appears to be a nice looking tree, and pruning it hard enough to let enough light in to grow grass would, in my opinion, aesthetically damage the tree.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:36 PM   #12
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


Agree with others that pruning is good, but won't give you full sun. Try hosta (there are many cool varieties beyond the boring solid green ones), pachysandra, daylilies (need some sun, but many can tolerate shade), and impatients.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:51 PM   #13
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I did plant some pachysandra last August. This pic was taken right before planting them. I bought about 40-50 small plants and placed them in the left corner of the lawn. I am not sure I want to use pachysandra on the whole lawn.


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Old 03-07-2010, 10:04 AM   #14
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


a novice question.....i know pachysandra are recommended for my zone, south eastern PA. Was I supposed to put mulch over them for the winter? Thought i read that somewhere. Until recently mounds of snow have covered them. Will they be ok?
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:08 AM   #15
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Planting Grass in Shade, Tree Pruning


The Pachysandra should be fine. The mulch does help. If you plant any more ground cover, it is easier to mulch first (about 2") then use a trowel or small pick to dig the hole, install, cover with mulch. Pachysandra on the whole lawn would be a bit boring...

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