We have a young oak growing in our front lawn in Houston, Texas (new neighborhood with new homes). I didn't want the "mulch ring" around the tree because I had heard it was bad for trees (and I think it looks silly). We have just let the grass grow up to the tree. But then I read this is bad for the tree... is this true? Should we dig up the grass around the base of our tree? The tree seems to be growing quite well. We have heavy clay soil with probably some landscaping fill mixed in. We also have a couple of crepe myrtle trees and were wondering the best time to prune or re-shape them (they are young; they have some branches growing from the ground and close to the ground. We want them to grow more upright instead of outright at the base).
Is It Bad for the Tree to Let Grass Grow Right Up to It?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
There really is not reason to remove sod around the young trees.
As the tree grows and shades the area you may have grass die off and may need to make changes them. 2 to 3 inches of hardwood mulch will help with moisture retention.
Take care when mowing or trimming to not harm the trunk of the tree.
The sucker growth at the base of the Crepe Myrtle should be trimmed as it appears. This is likely growing from the root stock and will take energy from the tree.
Here is a few links about pruning your Crepe Myrtle.