A question about the new trees planted in the Upper Arb

Upper Arb tree plantingsOne of my favorite loops to walk in the Carleton Arb is the one that’s adjacent to Wall St. Road and Spring Creek Road in the Upper Arb. They’ve been planting a variety of trees in the field in the middle of the loop for many years, protecting them from deer and rabbits with some nifty enclosures.

I noticed this week that a new batch of trees has been planted, and that all the grass around the plantings is dead. Anyone know the reason for killing the grass? I don’t see anything about it on the What’s Happening Now in the Arb? page.


  1. John S. Thomas said:

    I am only guessing, but perhaps it was easier to cut through the turf with a machine (looks pretty even width) to get at the soil underneath. Once planted, the grasses are prolific, and will grow back quickly.

    Again, only a guess.

    July 12, 2009
  2. Nancy Braker, Arb Director said:

    Arboretum staff planted red and burr oak seedlings this spring to enhance the new forest in the Upper Arb. Brome grass, which dominates that field, is a strong competitor with the young trees. A herbicide (glyphosate, more commonly known as Round-Up) was used to kill the grass in the planting areas to give the trees a bit of a head start. The brome grass will re-establish over time, but in the meantime the young trees will not have as much competition for water and nutrients.

    July 14, 2009
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks much, Nancy. ‘Tis good to know.

    July 14, 2009

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