How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Weeds around treeWeed management around fruit and nut trees

Keep weeds or other plants away from the base of trees with handweeding or mulching. Don’t allow your lawn to grow within a foot or two of the trunk. A mulch placed around tree trunks will help control weeds. Herbicides should not be necessary. Remove all weeds, lawn and other plants before mulching. 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 the base of the tree. 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.

Weeds around the trunk of trees 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
All contents copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   Contact webmaster.