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The grass in certain areas of my lawn is not growing well. I've been told it may be due to the fact that they're adjacent to pine trees, and that fallen pine needles have caused locally acidic conditions. It is suggested that I apply Gypsum in these areas. Are the diagnoses and suggestions plausible ?

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A

I do not recommend adding gypsum.  Our Utah soils are high in the mineral calcium and gypsum is calcium sulfate.  Generally the reason lawn is not growing under your pine trees may have more to do with sunlight as the dense canopy of pines do not allow the lawn enough sunlight to grow well.

Plants growing near the trunk of a tree out to the drip line are competing with the tree for water and nutrients.   A suggestion would be to use a coarse or large nuggest bark mulch around the base of the tree that will offer weed control, keep soil moisture, and moderate soil temperature that will benefit the health of the tree.

Posted on 11 Jun 2008

Maggie Shao
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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