Every yard needs some shade. But too much can be a real problem. Boggy lawns, damp garden beds, overly dry soil, and sickly-looking plants can all be caused by too much shade. Reducing the amount of shade is sometimes necessary, although it requires careful planning and observation – don’t be tempted to hack into everything without putting enough thought into it. Firstly, you could totally wreck the look of your garden, and secondly, you mightn’t be any better off. When it comes to reducing shade, you need to think and plan, then act. Of course, choosing one of the buffalo grass varieties that love shade will help you maintain a beautiful lawn, trees or no trees!
Yards with large, established trees are the envy of many a home gardener. But that said, gardens with heavy tree canopies can be challenging to manage. Because of the amount of light they block out, large trees prevent a lot of nature’s solar energy from reaching the ground, facilitating excessive water retention. Result: overly damp lawns or garden beds. In this situation, it becomes necessary to trim or even remove trees to improve the quality of your ground and allow for healthy plantings underneath trees.
1. To Tree or Not to Tree?
Before you make arrangements to remove any tree from your property, take time to make the appropriate observations. Note the shade that is resulting from that tree at various times of day over a period of a few days. Be sure you have the right culprit in your sights before you go chopping anything.
There are national laws surrounding tree removal, even if the tree is solely on your property. Each state also has regulations which must be adhered to. Removing a tree without the correct permits can end up being a pricey business, so check with your local council before you start!
Tree removal is no job for a novice. And, depending on the size of the tree under consideration, felling it yourself may be a very dangerous undertaking. It is best to contact a qualified tree feller or arborist and follow professional advice when removing any tree from your property.
2. Tree Pruning
This may well be the better choice. As well as allowing you to keep that beautiful tree, it is often an easier and cheaper option. Again, before you brandish your pruning saw and secateurs, take time to work out which particular branches are the main offenders.
You may wish to ask advice from an arborist – after all, what you do is likely to be permanent!
As a rule of thumb, most trees can safely have up to 25% of their canopy removed at one time, although it pays to research your particular species and make sure. Prune using sharp tools and balance the pruning cuts so that you maintain an even shape. The last thing you want is an ugly, lopsided tree in your garden!
3. Choosing the Right Grass
There are several Buffalo grass varieties that are shade tolerant and work well in gardens with large trees. By planting the right sort of grass, you can still maintain a beautiful, lush lawn even in areas of your garden that have very limited sunlight.
The team at Greener Lawns are experts when it comes to lawn care. For more tips on grasses for shady gardens, call us on 1800 473 363 and chat with one of our staff.