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Dead ring around a tree

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From: Emmily Francis
Sperry, IA
I have a big oak tree in my yard that has grass growing directly underneath, right up to the trunk, but has a ring of dead grass in a perfect circle at the edge of the canopy. The ring is patchy, about 2 feet wide, goes all the way around the tree, and starts at the edge of the canopy. Any ideas what could be causing it?


Extension Message
From: Richard Hentschel
Extension Educator, Horticulture
DuPage/Kane/Kendall Unit
I suspect that since it is at the drip-line where the majority of the tree roots are for absorption of water and nutrition, those roots are being a bully right now. With fall rains returning the ring may go away. tehre is a turf disease called fairy ring, but I have never seen it as you describe. Right now is a great time to reseed with some topdressing to reestablish some grass. Next year, be sure to support the tree with water, especially in that ring area

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