Controlling Weeds Around Garden Trees

While you may already have methods in place to deal with the weeds that pop up around your garden, preventing them from emerging around your garden trees is a little trickier. That said, this is something that’s well-deserving of your time and attention – weeds will compete with your trees for water and nutrients, and will often win. Not only that, but the roots of some invasive weeds can end up tangled around your tree roots, which can be fatal for a newly-planted tree.

Many people immediately turn to chemicals when it comes to weed control, but this definitely shouldn’t be your first choice. Not only could those chemicals cause serious damage to your trees, along with the other wanted plants in your garden, but they’re not doing the environment any favours either.

So, what are your options when it comes to controlling weeds around your garden trees? Here are some of the most effective:



The easiest, and least back-breaking, way of keeping weeds under control is to use a mulch. Mulches can be split into two main categories; organic and non-organic.The most popular non-organic mulch would be a weed control membrane. Laying this around your garden trees will prevent weeds from coming through, while still allowing moisture to penetrate into the soil. Top your weed membrane with some decorative gravel or bark and it’ll quickly blend into your garden.

Alternatively, go with an organic mulch, such as wood chips or grass cuttings. As these break down, they’ll help to feed your soil and improve soil structure, which, in turn, will boost the health of your trees. However, the downside to an organic mulch is that you’ll need to re-mulch every year, or even twice a year if your weeds are very persistent.


Hand Weeding

Nobody wants to spend hours weeding their garden, but, in some cases, this is the best and most effective option. Grab those weeds by their roots and pull them out, ensuring that you don’t leave any part of that plant behind in the soil. However, be careful when weeding next to your garden trees – you don’t want to accidentally dislodge or damage any of those precious roots.

Of course, once you’re done hand weeding, it won’t be long before new weed seeds fly in and take root. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to prevent this from happening – use a mulch!


Plant Flowers and Shrubs

One way to stop new weeds from emerging is to crowd them out – if they don’t have any space to grow, then they won’t be able to grow. This means planting perennial flowers and shrubs around and underneath your garden trees, keeping your spacings dense to ensure that weeds don’t appear in between them.

The secret to succeeding with this method is to pick plants that won’t compete with your trees too much for moisture and nutrients. Spend some time researching the best companion plants for the specific trees that you have. For example, fragrant herbs, such as mint and parsley, are great companion plants for citrus trees, while petunias, lavender, and thyme work well under olive trees.



Too many weeds can spell disaster for your garden trees, making it important to stay on top of weed control so that your garden doesn’t get out of hand. Hand weeding is one option, but consider mulching and companion planting if you’d like a lower-maintenance method of keeping your garden weed-free.


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