Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Warm season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Centipede & Paspalum
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srogue
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Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by srogue » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:35 pm

Just curious if any of you out there with Bermuda have the issue I do. I have a couple of trees, one in my back and one in my front, that have caused the Bermuda grass to die underneath them. Right now it is just bare dirt and looks pretty bad. What are some of the solutions some of you have come up with to solve this?

I have looked into shade-tolerant Bermuda, two varieties, in particulne called Celebration, and another called TifTuf. The TifTuf, a local sod farm has some, and I plan on buying a 5x2 test roll for underneath one of the trees to see how it does in the spring.

Other than this, what about a cool season grass (but having spots of green among my brown Bermuda in winter would look odd I think) would another species of grass that tolerates shade such as zoysia etc.. be better? I've had someone suggest a shade loving ground cover. I wouldn't want anything that would be invasive outside of the shade however.

Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated!

erdons
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by erdons » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:50 pm

The #1 killer of Bermuda, shade!

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sportsman10
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by sportsman10 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:00 am

Being in the transition zone most people around me have the nasty habit (IMO) of planting fescue or something in the shade around trees. Looks completely dumb to me to mix grasses. So I would -

1) Super trim the trees. Get as much light under there as possible. They may look top heavy but hey, gotta have nice turf.
2) Make a mulch bed around the trees in the bare spots. Could be pretty big if you have too much shade.
3) Lose the trees completely or replace with trees that only provide minimal shade..

I'd be surprised if you had any luck at all with shade tolerant Bermuda varieties. I think people that are real serious about addressing shade problems get a light meter and measure the hours and strength of sunlight in trouble areas.
Pippity poppity, give me the zoppity.

1FASTSS
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by 1FASTSS » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:50 am

sportsman10 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:00 am
Being in the transition zone most people around me have the nasty habit (IMO) of planting fescue or something in the shade around trees. Looks completely dumb to me to mix grasses. So I would -

1) Super trim the trees. Get as much light under there as possible. They may look top heavy but hey, gotta have nice turf.
2) Make a mulch bed around the trees in the bare spots. Could be pretty big if you have too much shade.
3) Lose the trees completely or replace with trees that only provide minimal shade..

I'd be surprised if you had any luck at all with shade tolerant Bermuda varieties. I think people that are real serious about addressing shade problems get a light meter and measure the hours and strength of sunlight in trouble areas.
I have the same issue with some spots in my yard....I sodded this Aug with Celebration because I got an awesome deal on it...It has held up fairly well to the shade issues I have with a neighbors tree...it was recently trimmed up and here in FL we can cut off any limbs hanging over the property line so I've done that as well....I hope to have a strong yard come next spring when the light levels go back up...maybe even start using some PGR by the end of the summer into next winter. Keeping it short helps as well...like .5-.75" max.

I would wait til spring to try the sod though...get as much light to it as possible...otherwise landscape bed those areas

Huff
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by Huff » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:12 am

In my instance, it depended on the amount of shade. The areas of dense shade got mulch beds and plantings of hosta, etc. the areas of dappled shade are getting zoysia plugs since my yard is a mixture of zoysia and bermuda. The zoysia seems to be doing ok in the lightly shaded areas where the bermuda is thin and struggling. There is a color/texture difference that you can discern in the winter, but not so noticeable in the summer. I personally wouldn't use a cool season grass as the difference in winter is something I don't care for.

srogue
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by srogue » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:10 pm

sportsman10 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:00 am
Being in the transition zone most people around me have the nasty habit (IMO) of planting fescue or something in the shade around trees. Looks completely dumb to me to mix grasses. So I would -

1) Super trim the trees. Get as much light under there as possible. They may look top heavy but hey, gotta have nice turf.
2) Make a mulch bed around the trees in the bare spots. Could be pretty big if you have too much shade.
3) Lose the trees completely or replace with trees that only provide minimal shade..

I'd be surprised if you had any luck at all with shade tolerant Bermuda varieties. I think people that are real serious about addressing shade problems get a light meter and measure the hours and strength of sunlight in trouble areas.
The trimming is something I will certainly do, probalby this winter while the tree is dormant. The mulch might also be something I do, but I will wait until after I trim it first and see where I stand, because right now it would be a huge mulch bed!
Can't really lose the tree, but I will for sure look into a light meter, and see how it is doing after I thin out the tree some, that combined with the test roll of TifTuf, might work. Other than that, yeah, it might be a big mulch bed.

srogue
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by srogue » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:13 pm

1FASTSS wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:50 am
I have the same issue with some spots in my yard....I sodded this Aug with Celebration because I got an awesome deal on it...It has held up fairly well to the shade issues I have with a neighbors tree...it was recently trimmed up and here in FL we can cut off any limbs hanging over the property line so I've done that as well....I hope to have a strong yard come next spring when the light levels go back up...maybe even start using some PGR by the end of the summer into next winter. Keeping it short helps as well...like .5-.75" max.

I would wait til spring to try the sod though...get as much light to it as possible...otherwise landscape bed those areas
Yeah a big mulch/landscape bed may be the ultimate answer if the trimming/TifTuf don't work out.

srogue
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by srogue » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:15 pm

Huff wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:12 am
I personally wouldn't use a cool season grass as the difference in winter is something I don't care for.
Thanks for this. I have never had Zoysia, but I know it is a warm season grass, and I wouldn't mind the difference in the winter too much. However, yes, I doubt I would like the look of the cool season grass.

How agressive is the Zoysia? If I were to try and test a little patch in the shade, would it spread all over the yard?

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Redtwin
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by Redtwin » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:29 pm

You can also mow the Bermuda a little taller around the tree to give it more leaf surface for photosynthesis.

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thelawnpirate
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by thelawnpirate » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:34 pm

@srogue Just my opinion, but I would remove and replace the trees if A) Bermuda was your preference and B) your HOA requires trees, like mine does. I had two oaks that were starving my grass of water and like you, the mulch beds would have been too large even after a good trim. Plus, the acorns were a pain for me too.

Opted for the minimum-size tree that would pass the HOA requirement and my bermuda recovered amazingly in just a couple of months. Before pic is from mid-June and after pics are from beginning of October. Wishing I had had more time to push the lawn before the end of the season.

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srogue
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Re: Bare spots in Bermuda due to Tree Shade

Post by srogue » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:28 am

@thelawnpirate That is astounding what a difference taking those two trees down made to the look of your property and house. I admit that may be one solution I should look at with at least one of my trees. Thank you for sharing, and congrats on that lawn, it is looking much improved.

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