How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Weeds around treeWeed management around ornamental trees and shrubs

Keep weeds or other plants away from the base of trees and shrubs with handweeding or mulching. Don’t allow your lawn to grow within a foot or two of trunks. Remove all weeds, lawn, and other plants before mulching. Herbicides should not be necessary. You can use organic mulches such as wood chips, bark chips, sawdust, or compost with or without fabric barriers. Instead of a fabric barrier, you can use a newspaper mulch. Wet some newspaper and put a layer about 2 sheets thick around trees and shrubs. Place a 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch on top on the newspaper. Be sure to keep mulch at least 6 to 12 inches away from the base of trees and shrubs.

Weeds around trees and shrubs are difficult to mow, can harbor pests, can promote crown diseases, and can compete for water and nutrients.

More information


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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