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Author Topic:   Pine Trees and Grass
Meelox
unregistered
posted 08 February 2001 23:59           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have three HUGE pine trees and the grass under these trees is slowly dying. What Kind of grass can I plant that will grow there?

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seed
Editor
posted 09 February 2001 18:16     Click Here to See the Profile for seed     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Meelox, please tell us what state or country you are in, and what kind of pine trees these are, and anything else about the location. Thanks, Phil

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Meelox
unregistered
posted 12 February 2001 20:45           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by seed:
Meelox, please tell us what state or country you are in, and what kind of pine trees these are, and anything else about the location. Thanks, Phil

Phil,
I am in Upstate SC, I am not sure of the name of the pine tree, I do know that there were used for christmas trees by the original owners of the house. I am assuming a spruce pine, because thats the was the christmas tree choice in the early 1970's. They are not like the pine trees found in our forest here. They are huge bigger than some of the oak trees in this area and grow fast, are very full with long needles and the pine cones are about 3 inches long and will fit easily inside a coffee cup. These trees make great shade in the summer and have to pruned from the bottom every year as the brances get very heavy and droop low to the ground. I have made pine needle beds at the bottom of the tree because the grass will not grow close to the trunk. My needle beds are about six foot from the trunk, and make a cirle around the bottom of the trees. but this is still not entirely the length of the limbs if I were to try go out as far as the limbs I will have to go about 10 to 12 ft, or maybe even more. The grass is thinning under the limbs.The trunk of the tree is not huge but it is thick. These trees were planted in the early seventies, and are still gorgeous trees. Some pines I have see get out of porportion as they grow but these are not so I would like to keep them, I am waging a war with my husband to keep them, so I have to find something that will grow under them and can stand drought like conditions. Our summer months can be a torment for our grass, which is fescue, unwanted WIRE GRASS, and clover at this point I am losing my battle with the grass.

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rebecca thompson
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posted 13 February 2001 13:59     Click Here to See the Profile for rebecca thompson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I sure do hope someone gives you an answer, as I also live in the upstate of SC and I just gave up on grass under pine trees.

I have a spruce which sounds like your kinda pine trees. There's no grass under it, never has been, and never will be. It has branches low to the ground so I just don't worry about it.

Or, do you have the large white pines?

The christmas trees in the upstate, oconee county are usually some type of spruce.

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jbarber
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posted 01 May 2001 16:48           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't identify the pine trees, but know that the falling needles and debris from pine trees can make the soil quite acidic, and will really make turf growth slow or stop if acidity of the soil is high.

You will have to maintain the "drip-line" area around the base of the tree, but letting the needles stay won't help the pH problem. Consider acid loving annual flowers for the area instead.

Sounds like your fescue is an older variety-improved turf-type tall and dwarf fescues are not wiry and can make for very healthy lawns.

RE: your clover problem: you can try a Scott's Lawn Care product. They have a "Weed and Feed" line that has a specific formulation for clover. Check witha local garden center for the exact product. If you are inclined, adding new fescue seed in the fall will help the lawn density and perhaps will help replace the existing fescue variety.

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jbarber
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posted 01 May 2001 16:49           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't identify the pine trees, but know that the falling needles and debris from pine trees can make the soil quite acidic, and will really make turf growth slow or stop if acidity of the soil is high.

You will have to maintain the "drip-line" area around the base of the tree, but letting the needles stay won't help the pH problem. Consider acid loving annual flowers for the area instead.

Sounds like your fescue is an older variety. New improved turf-type tall and dwarf fescues are not wiry and can make for very healthy lawns.

RE: your clover problem: you can try a Scott's Lawn Care product. They have a "Weed and Feed" line that has a specific formulation for clover. Check witha local garden center for the exact product. If you are inclined, adding new fescue seed in the fall will help the lawn density and perhaps will help replace the existing fescue variety.

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Burlap_Etc
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posted 07 May 2001 20:43     Click Here to See the Profile for Burlap_Etc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see a few of you are in the same boat so don't rock it to much someone may get wet. OK OK Enough of the dry humor. I will try to keep this short and sweet. Hay that's it. As previously written Acid is more than likely your problem. Don't give up on your turf just yet. More than likely it is nothing an application or two of Lime won't help out and get your turf back on track to a speedy recovery. Don't be surprised if you are told you may need over 100 lbs. per 1000 SF. to correct the PH problem. Shortly there after you should see that your turf will respond to the Fert you apply.
Give it a shot.
Burlap_Etc

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sicofturf
unregistered
posted 09 May 2001 19:03           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wise up foolios!!! Plant native vegetation underneath and quit wasting your time and money on worthless turf. Turf only needs, maybe, to occupy maybe 20-40% of your yard. Contact the South Carolina Native Plant Society and let these folks enlighten you. Quit supporting the delusion of the turf yard as god's ideal. Wonder what god thinks about all this turf, probably says "human, all too human."

youngwiseman

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Bob&LAura
unregistered
posted 03 June 2001 00:45           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well,
To make it an easy and fast answer My wife and I have been battling the same prob and also live In Upstate SC. Pine trees have been a real pain in the butt to grow anything in the front yard so I did the best thing I could to solve this headache. We cut down all the pine trees!! The pine trees around this area already look have dead so it wasnt a hard decision to make. I am getting our front yard graded this week and getting 2 dump trucks full of topsoil and I hope to have a front yard soon Well this is the radical way to do it but In the long run we will be happier especially now that the pine trees are mulch and My truck wont get sap on it from any trees in my yard. Bob&Laura

[Note: This message has been edited by seed]

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bp/spraytech
unregistered
posted 12 June 2002 17:27           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have patience lime could take up to six months to change ph in soil enough to be good for turf.

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goldenman
unregistered
posted 24 June 2002 13:17           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Meelox:
I have three HUGE pine trees and the grass under these trees is slowly dying. What Kind of grass can I plant that will grow there?

I too had the same problem...I live in WI. I bought a house with 8 spruce pines all but eliminating the back yard. I put down about 200 pounds of lime, and then seeded with a mixture of grass that requires only 4-6 hours of sun per day. Followed this with a starter fertilizer, and within the month I had strong grass shoots starting everywhere. It has now been a little over 2 months, and I don't have thick grass, but it is well on its way. LIME is the ANSWER!

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d in kc
unregistered
posted 27 April 2003 21:22           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When you put your lime down, did you have to completely till the soil up before application or just loosen soil and throw down the lime?

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onetimeentry
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posted 24 September 2003 09:04     Click Here to See the Profile for onetimeentry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sicofturf:
Wise up foolios!!! Plant native vegetation underneath and quit wasting your time and money on worthless turf. Turf only needs, maybe, to occupy maybe 20-40% of your yard. Contact the South Carolina Native Plant Society and let these folks enlighten you. Quit supporting the delusion of the turf yard as god's ideal. Wonder what god thinks about all this turf, probably says "human, all too human."

youngwiseman


God is spelt with a capital 'G'. Use God's name properly!!! Not so wise after all, hey fool?

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jstellfox@kl.com
unregistered
posted 12 April 2004 11:13           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have done the same thing - removed my 4 white pines to grow grass instead. Can you tell me if you plan or have put lime down in the area before you get your top soil laid and if you did, how long did you wait before you planted your grass?
Thanks ... Jeanne

quote:
Originally posted by Bob&LAura:
Well,
To make it an easy and fast answer My wife and I have been battling the same prob and also live In Upstate SC. Pine trees have been a real pain in the butt to grow anything in the front yard so I did the best thing I could to solve this headache. We cut down all the pine trees!! The pine trees around this area already look have dead so it wasnt a hard decision to make. I am getting our front yard graded this week and getting 2 dump trucks full of topsoil and I hope to have a front yard soon Well this is the radical way to do it but In the long run we will be happier especially now that the pine trees are mulch and My truck wont get sap on it from any trees in my yard. Bob&Laura


[Note: This message has been edited by seed]


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cohiba
Turfmaster
posted 12 April 2004 13:46     Click Here to See the Profile for cohiba     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If your correcting soil for pH, I suggest a test to see what is driving th pH. That way you can see what you need to correct the soil. Lime materials differ in ingredients and activity. If anyone wants more info on let me know and I can get a great website that has all the dope. If you are tilling and changing pH you should be able to plant right away. I've never had a problem with lime.

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cboak2
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posted 15 April 2004 21:45     Click Here to See the Profile for cboak2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Uncle had a lake cabin with a lot of pine trees and the grass got very thin close to the trunk. He sprinkled lime around the base of the tree to get the grass to grow. I think it was an acidity problem. May want to contact your county agent to be sure.

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LadyLaw
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posted 31 May 2004 07:54     Click Here to See the Profile for LadyLaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would really like the web site address! My mother (against my advice) cut down 2 1'4 acres of red & white pine and now wants to plant grass. We live in Wisconsin. How do I figure out how much lime to apply...and can I plant grass seed the same season?

Thanks so much!

quote:
Originally posted by cohiba:
If your correcting soil for pH, I suggest a test to see what is driving th pH. That way you can see what you need to correct the soil. Lime materials differ in ingredients and activity. If anyone wants more info on let me know and I can get a great website that has all the dope. If you are tilling and changing pH you should be able to plant right away. I've never had a problem with lime.

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cohiba
Turfmaster
posted 31 May 2004 12:56     Click Here to See the Profile for cohiba     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ladylaw,
Start with a soil test to see what is diving the pH. Could be too much Magnesium, or Calcium, whatever. The website address is: http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~blpprt/acid4.html

It gives alot of lime info. More how to select which one than how much to put out. But a soil test will give you that info. Ask for recommendations for a new lawn. Also you can lime and seed in the same season. However lime is slow to react in the soil. It only leaches about 1" per year so several applications may be needed to correct what has gone on for years. Be careful of the calcium to magnesium ratio. If you want someone else to eyeball the results you can fax them to me and I'd be glad to check them out.....

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LadyLaw
Friend
posted 05 June 2004 18:17     Click Here to See the Profile for LadyLaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
THANKS SO MUCH!!!

I took a sample of the soil & am awaiting the results!

Take care!
Pat

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cohiba
Turfmaster
posted 05 June 2004 18:48     Click Here to See the Profile for cohiba     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I check with the site almost daily. Let me know when you get the results and can fax them. Fax to: 856-589-7518. My work fax. And I can check the results out and let you know what we can do.


Good Luck......

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TUCKER
unregistered
posted 07 September 2004 16:50           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know if lime is safe for pets. I always fertilize when I am going to be out of town so the dog isn't walking in it, but I don't know if the lime would affect the big guy.

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cohiba
Turfmaster
posted 07 September 2004 18:14     Click Here to See the Profile for cohiba     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Using pelletized lime is best for pets. The pulverized lime can be spread and watered in prior to the animals using the lawn. But pelletized is much easier to work with and more pet friendly. Should be no problems. If anyone has info to the contrary; set me straight!

Just my 2 cents.........................

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rightman
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posted 30 May 2007 08:12     Click Here to See the Profile for rightman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is acid coming from the pine needles that drop on the grass and kills the grass. You may want to remove the grass around the diameter of the tree and put some bark, or else, you may have to remove the tree. I usually recommend people to plant pine trees in a specific area away from grass.

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riverlightdesign
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posted 30 December 2008 14:02     Click Here to See the Profile for riverlightdesign     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lime works great to fix the soil but remember you have to keep on top of those needles. Rake it up regularly and avoid using mulching mowers once the grass does start filling in. You may even be able to compost all the needles and use it for clean fill somewhere else. Also if you are near water you may find that the bare soil around your pine trees will have a lot of roots poking up. Couldn't hurt to throw down a couple yards of loam to grade things out a bit.

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