1.Should be deciduous meaning it should loose all of its leaves in the winter. This will let in light in the wintertime, when light levels are lowest. Deciduous trees also do not block any warming winter sunlight from reaching the house. Trees on the south or east sides of any house should always be deciduous, never evergreen.
2.Should have roots that do not Tree Removal creep upward into the lawn where they’ll be hit by lawnmowers. Roots that grow up into the lawn are a real pain, hard to get rid of, and will easily ruin a lawnmower.
3.Should be attractive, or why else even plant it?
4.Should be fairly easy to grow, not too fussy. Always select trees that are know to be disease resistant.
5.Should be able to adapt to the irrigation a lawn will receive. Certain trees grow well in lawns and others, such as oaks, do not. Plant lawn trees that will thrive in a lawn area, even if it is frequently irrigated.
6.Should be a type of tree that will not have a negative allopathic effect on the lawn. For example, eucalyptus or walnut trees produce a substance that kills off other plants below them.
7.Should produce shade that is not too deep. No grass can grow in the deepest shade. Branches on lawn trees should ideally be kept fairly high.
8.Should not produce a lot of allergenic pollen. There’s no point in planting a tree that will make you sick every year.
Trunks of young trees should never be hit with weedwackers. String- trimmers ruin the tender bark of many young lawn trees, and then stunt their subsequent growth. Keep a clean area a minimum of 3’wide under any new lawn tree.
Even though a lawn has shallow roots and there is little point in watering lawns much deeper than a foot, trees will develop deep roots. To make sure your new tree grows those deep, drought resistant roots, give it a really good soaking once a month from spring until fall. Just put a garden hose near the base of the tree, turn it on low, and let it soak for a long time.
Watch mulch around the trunks of young trees! Mulching trees is a good idea but keep the mulch a few inches away from the actual trunk of the young tree. In the wintertime, especially where there is snow cover, it is a darn good idea to put a wrap of ¼ inch mesh chicken wire around the trunk, to keep mice and rabbits from eating the tender young bark. Many a new tree is killed because of wintertime damage to the trunk from rodents.
If you live in an area where the winter temperatures get below zero F, it is a good idea to paint the trunks of new lawn trees white. The white paint will reflect the winter sun, and will keep the sap from warming up and starting to flow in the middle of winter. Painted trees are much less likely to get “winter sun scald,” which is what they call it when the bark cracks and splits open, usually on the south side of the trunk. Use indoor grade white latex paint for this, and it is perfectly okay too, to paint some of the larger branches. This painting can be repeated each fall with good effect until the tree is about 7-8 years old. As the trees mature their bark will thicken and toughen up, and will naturally be more resistant to freezing and the winter sun.
Make sure to fertilize the new trees twice each season. Use a fertilizer high in N, nitrogen, in the springtime, and a fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in potassium in the fall. Lawn grass that grows under trees may well need a bit of extra fertilizer through the growing season, as the tree roots will absorb much of the lawn fertilizer as well.
There are devices with long, hollow spikes on them that screw on the end of a hose. You put the fertilizer for the tree in these contraptions, shove the spike down deep into the tree’s root zone, and turn on the hose. This is a good way to fertilize lawn trees.
Existing trees and planting new lawns
Many a nice lawn tree has been killed when the owner decides to plant a new lawn, and hauls in extra topsoil to spread. If you cover the roots of a tree with several inches of additional soil, you may easily smother the tree roots, killing the tree. If the soil around an existing tree needs to be raised, then you need to build a “tree well,” an area around the tree, at least four feet wide, where the original soil level is maintained. This is especially important with oak trees, which will quickly die if the soil level is raised right up to the trunk.
Manure and lawn trees
Never put manure right up to the trunk of a lawn tree. Fresh manure in particular is especially toxic to young trees. I have seen some pretty nice, large trees killed when their owners mulched them with a thick layer of supposedly “well-cured” horse manure. Even with compost, don’t place it right next to the trunk of the tree!