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Trottiscliffe Tree Warden – Blog Post #3

Artificial grass temperatures - 34.1 in the shade, 62.3 in the sun

Artificial grass

I’ve noticed a number of homes in the parish have installed artificial grass around trees. As a garden designer this is an anathema to me personally but I understand it makes sense for many people from a maintenance and use perspective. As a tree consultant however I’m slightly more concerned.

Artificial grass may lack the ability to permeate rainwater to the tree roots, and often I see it installed right up to the trunk (we don’t recommend this for grass, let alone artificial grass – at least a 1m diameter of mulch 10-20mm is advisable around, but not touching the trunk).

The image below was released by a vets recently – in the recent hot weather we’re having artificial grass gets HOT! This can be bad for pets, but also it’s not great for the fine tree roots near the soil surface.

Artificial grass temperatures - 34.1 in the shade, 62.3 in the sun. Real grass in the shade 27.8, real grass in the sun 38.1

Think of tree roots like a wineglass – the roots aren’t a mirror image of the stem/bowl of the glass, they are shallow and easily affected by drought and excessive heat.

So if you have artificial grass around your trees, make sure there’s a gap around the stem – if it was me I think I’d cover the area up to the tree ‘drip line’ (the extent of the branches) with a bark mulch to be on the safe side – you can always rake it up when the weather cools down.


Neil Moulton, Tree Warden for Trottiscliffe

Trottiscliffe Tree Warden – Blog Post #1 >>

Trottiscliffe Tree Warden – Blog Post #2 >>