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03:18PM, 22 Oct 2009
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Category: Lawns
03:18PM, 22 Oct 2009
Are there any small to medium trees that can be planted in a lawn (with grass right up to the trunk)? I would like to establish some shade trees and naturalise freesias in the lawn beneath their spreading branches.

The lawn area is only about 14m square and has been raised using nursery-supplied sandy garden soil. It receives full sun until late afternoon. The freesia bulbs have been planted and Palmetto Buffalo turf laid. I was considering a close grouping of 3 Silver Birch (but apparently they have a tendency to sucker) or Claret Ash? Blueberry Ash were also considered - 'cos we live in Blueberry Street! - but discounted due to their low growing branches.

Submitted: 02:58PM, 11 Apr 2010
Answer: Dear Bob,

It is never a good idea to grow grass right up to the trunk of a tree. When this happens to is difficult to mow the grass underneath. Usually a brushcutter has to be used to cut the grass and inevitably the bark of the tree is damaged. This allows an entry point for fungus and insects which is never a good thing.

Blueberry Ash would be a good tree to grow in a surburban garden. Once established, this tree needs little care and will grow in full sun to part shade. You could remove the lower branches when the tree is young to allow room underneath for you to walk and garden.

Claret Ash is a deciduous tree growing much taller to about 15 metres and a much wider spread. It would allow the winter sun in and allow your bulbs to flower. If you have enough room in your garden, this would be a spectacular specimen to grow.

Answered: 02:07PM, 29 Apr 2010


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