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Old 07-18-2009, 05:57 PM
swilk swilk is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 196
Default using burlap as weed barrier?

Im sure this is a stupid question .... but ya never know until you ask.

What would be the pros/cons of using burlap as a weed barrier on new tree plantings?

Basically buy a roll of 3' wide burlap ..... cut a 3' long piece off. Cut a hole in the middle and a slit from one side to the hole.

Plant the tree ..... put some old newspapers around the tree .... put the burlap over the newspaper and stake it down with some wire bent into a U and pushed into the ground.

Im sure there is some reason I shouldnt do this ..... I just havent found it yet.

Seems like it would be a good way to control weeds .... keep the ground damp .... wouldnt cost much .... easy to do ...... and would last a few years before breaking down and disappearing.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:20 PM
asmith asmith is offline
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Hawkinsville Georgia Zone 8b
Posts: 2,632

Most burlap I've seen was not tightly woven, and after the newspaper disintegrates, I think there would be weeds coming through, but can't say how soon that would happen.
A good weed block that I read posted on here by another memeber(can't recall who) is used carpet. If you contact a carpet installer and get some used carpet, cut it into squares, 4'-5' slit it to the center, cut a hole in the center for the tree, it makes a good weed block, free. Of course it's heavier to handle, but it's free, and does a great job. No need to stake it down. I have some on the ground 3 years and it has not rotted through yet. FREE.

Last edited by asmith : 07-19-2009 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:02 PM
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Muddy Fork Muddy Fork is offline
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 1,079

I use 10x100 role of heavy black plastic cut in 18" squares and cut an X in the middle to poke the plant through. Also cut 8" pieces of galvanize electric fence wire and bend into a U and use them as ground staples to hold the plastic down. In this pic I made tubes out of chicken wire and stakes cut out of scrap lumber. This hazel nut was planted in 06 along with a hundred others and some have nuts this year.
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:54 PM
Lickcreek Lickcreek is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 8,684

get some of old carpet

We've used old carpet, old newspaper, carboard and anything salvageable, jut weight it down with rocks or some such and be aware that sometimes mice will burrow underneath, make a nest and then end up girdling the tree.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:36 PM
EddieC EddieC is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Louis, Mo
Posts: 906

Alot of tree companies will wrap the tree's rootball in burlap because it will rot/decompose quickly and the roots will grow through the material.

IMO, these two characteristics make it a bad option for a weed barrier.
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