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Old 03-18-2017, 01:41 PM   #1
alwaysinshorts
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Default Oak trees are killing my grass?

16 years ago when I bought this house I planted 3 packs of tree spikes that surrounded two what were small oak trees. Now 17 years later the trees are much larger and the root system is not deep in the ground but lots of them are above ground. I am assuming that that is killing my grass or at the least causing the grass to be bit as think as it should be.

Here's my question. Can these thinning of my grass be fixed? How do I get a good looking yard again?
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
webstertroy
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Sucking the life out of the ground..
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:05 PM   #3
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It's probably the shade more than the roots
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:05 PM   #4
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Water.......
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:21 PM   #5
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Water.......
This^^^^ and prune out the canopy to let some light get through.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS75 View Post
It's probably the shade more than the roots


Quote:
Originally Posted by thorthunder View Post
Water.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydestik View Post
This^^^^ and prune out the canopy to let some light get through.


All three of these and adding more fertilizer than normal to your grass. Make sure the lowest branches are trimmed pretty high so the lowest morning and afternoon sun can get to the grass. Thin the canopy to the midday sun can get through. Water often and fertilize.


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Old 03-18-2017, 03:15 PM   #7
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Depending on the amount of shade, you very well may be fighting a losing battle. Even St Augustine needs 5-6 hours of direct sun to thrive over the long run. I trimmed limbs and planted sod only to have it die out in the second year. I finally gave up on turf grass directly under the trees. I surrounded them with edging and planted shade tolerant ground cover like giant Liriope and Asian jasmine.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:13 PM   #8
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It's probably the shade more than the roots
Yep--and my arborist says 75% of the oak roots will be in the top 12" of soil.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:29 PM   #9
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What kind of grass is it? Keep your trees canopy at 10' or so, thin out the middle, and plant a shade tolerant hybrid such as amerishade or zoysia zeon. Lots of water and you should be good.


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Old 03-18-2017, 06:16 PM   #10
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If you prune, fertilize and water your live oaks there will be a thicker shade next year.

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Old 03-18-2017, 06:31 PM   #11
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Aggressively prune them to let light in. What do you have to loose?
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:36 PM   #12
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Aggressively prune them to let light in. What do you have to loose?


Your trees if you prune too "aggressively"


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Old 03-18-2017, 06:50 PM   #13
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My oak tree has been dropping brown leaves like it's fall like crazy. Anyone one else experiencing the same?
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:05 PM   #14
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There is a new Bermuda grass out now. Called celebration Bermuda which does well in the shade, but not heavy shade as everyone is saying thin you trees the more sun the better. One person mentioned zoysia grass. Great grass. Much stronger than St. Aug. how much shade a day are we talking? Could be the answer is as jerk said a quick fix might be ground cover. Good luck
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:12 PM   #15
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Jerk
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:22 PM   #16
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I have been dealing with 2 monsters for 15 years. They are at least 60 years old and 6 feet across at the base.
Tried thinning, leaving alone, and have always had grass. Yes I have a sprinkler system and I use Micro Life fertilizer twice a year. I have a couple of brown spots this year that will come back this spring.
Tried the zoisa grass in the dogs run area last spring and it is almost all dirt again this year.
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorthunder View Post
I have been dealing with 2 monsters for 15 years. They are at least 60 years old and 6 feet across at the base.

Tried thinning, leaving alone, and have always had grass. Yes I have a sprinkler system and I use Micro Life fertilizer twice a year. I have a couple of brown spots this year that will come back this spring.

Tried the zoisa grass in the dogs run area last spring and it is almost all dirt again this year.


No grass will grow in a dog run if you use it.


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Old 03-18-2017, 07:59 PM   #18
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No grass will grow in a dog run if you use it.


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Seriously thinking Astro turf......
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:02 PM   #19
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Seriously thinking Astro turf......


The quality stuff will run you at least $12/sq ft


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Old 03-18-2017, 08:09 PM   #20
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more water, roots sucking all moisture out and out competing grass. Sun would be nice but even with more sun light I believe majority of your problem is lack of water for grass to survive. I have no idea what I am talking about and did not stay at a holiday inn. Use my advice as real advice at your own transgression.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:27 PM   #21
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more water, roots sucking all moisture out and out competing grass. Sun would be nice but even with more sun light I believe majority of your problem is lack of water for grass to survive. I have no idea what I am talking about and did not stay at a holiday inn. Use my advice as real advice at your own transgression.
This, the best St. Augustine yards I have seen under large oaks seem to always have a sprinkler system. But that an get expensive.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:51 PM   #22
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[quote=Beargrasstx;12288932]more water, roots sucking all moisture out and out competing grass. Sun would be nice but even with more sun light I believe majority of your problem is lack of water for grass to survive.



Oaks have 2 root systems. Deep stabilizer roots and a surface mat that looks like a fishing net. It brings in water and nutrients, and is twice as large at the canopy. 30' canopy - 60' roots. I have roots in 2 neighbors front yards.
I watch the soil and never allow cracks from it getting dry, and I sprinkle one neighbors front yard when I do mine.

Water - water - water.......
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:54 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by IowaHunter View Post
My oak tree has been dropping brown leaves like it's fall like crazy. Anyone one else experiencing the same?
That's what Live Oaks do every March. It's normal.


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Old 03-18-2017, 11:22 PM   #24
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St.Augustine is a "full sun" grass..It tolerates shade to a degree.

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Old 03-18-2017, 11:52 PM   #25
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Try Palmetto St Augustine.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:00 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jerp View Post
Depending on the amount of shade, you very well may be fighting a losing battle. Even St Augustine needs 5-6 hours of direct sun to thrive over the long run. I trimmed limbs and planted sod only to have it die out in the second year. I finally gave up on turf grass directly under the trees. I surrounded them with edging and planted shade tolerant ground cover like giant Liriope and Asian jasmine.
Hard to grow grass in the shade. Good alternative offered here.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:42 AM   #27
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My local grass farm recommends Floratam to use under full shade trees.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:25 AM   #28
alwaysinshorts
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Thanks everyone for your input. I am going to do some more trimming so that will help but I will also do more watering as well. The grass I have is San Augustine, is there a grass that I can plant with it that will grow better?
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:02 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysinshorts View Post
Thanks everyone for your input. I am going to do some more trimming so that will help but I will also do more watering as well. The grass I have is San Augustine, is there a grass that I can plant with it that will grow better?


Amerishade is a hybrid st Augustine that was developed to thrive in full shade. Zoysia also does very well in full shade. I have a massive red oak in my front yard and my zoysia thrives under it



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Old 03-19-2017, 03:32 PM   #30
alwaysinshorts
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Amerishade is a hybrid st Augustine that was developed to thrive in full shade. Zoysia also does very well in full shade. I have a massive red oak in my front yard and my zoysia thrives under it



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Do you buy those two in seed form or sod?
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:53 PM   #31
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Do you buy those two in seed form or sod?


Sod. Plan on paying about $135/pallet for zoysia and $200 or so for amerishade


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Old 03-19-2017, 05:19 PM   #32
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Kentucky 31 Fescue. Grows well in shade
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:29 PM   #33
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I'm not sure if this is true or not but I heard at one time oak (especially live oak) leaves and acorns are acidic. With the amount of leaves that fall this time of year this can cause your soil to be off. Again, this is what I heard, but several have mentioned fertilizer and you may want to get a fertilizer that balances it out a little. I think sunlight and water are the main culprits but this could be the final nail.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:53 PM   #34
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Kentucky 31 Fescue. Grows well in shade
I don't believe Fescue will survive Texas heat. I planted it one fall in a shady area of our lawn when we first moved in. Lordy it was beautiful, but it didn't survive at all once it got hot.


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Old 03-20-2017, 03:48 PM   #35
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Don't forget aeration. That's what allows nutrients and water down into the soil, as well as oxygen.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:37 AM   #36
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I'm not sure if this is true or not but I heard at one time oak (especially live oak) leaves and acorns are acidic. With the amount of leaves that fall this time of year this can cause your soil to be off. Again, this is what I heard, but several have mentioned fertilizer and you may want to get a fertilizer that balances it out a little. I think sunlight and water are the main culprits but this could be the final nail.
This. Surprised no one mentioned it before. Shade and lack of enough water "wear it down". A nice bed of leaves finishes it off. I hate yard work. Always get lazy around winter when the leaves are falling and the grass is growing slow. And it never fails, I am killing grass. Everything mentioned and keeping the leaves off.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:50 AM   #37
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It's probably the shade more than the roots
x2
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:57 PM   #38
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I have the same problem and...it aint too much shade. The only dead spots are where the roots have grown close to they surface so i have lines of dead grass. The roots seem to get closwr to the surface as the tree ages/grows. Ive started adding topsoil to the yard to try to cover the roots. And buddy had to jave 4" of soil brought in and do a total re-sod.

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Old 03-23-2017, 03:48 PM   #39
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Water...my entire back yard is covered buy huge 50 year old live oaks...if you water the grass will keep growing.
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