“Lawn Dots are the quickest, easiest, most reliable and longest lasting trimming method”, and not just for trees – but all lawn features. In fact, MORE THAN HALF of potential Lawn Dot applications are NOT TREES. But for this type of product, most think ‘trees’. So, let’s discuss Lawn Dot use around trees, and take it from there…
This kind of product would benefit from an endorsement from the National Arborists Association, Federal Arborists Agency, Arborists International Consortium, Universal Cosmos Convention of Arborists or some such recognized authoritative organization. (I’ll furnish some real names later on. Promise.) But reality is that those organizations have no incentive to even evaluate such a product (way too time consuming – takes years), to say nothing of an endorsement. They’re into all-natural stuff. (Who’d o’ thunk?) So, even though Lawn Dots work better around trees than any other trimming treatment because of their thin, gentle touch, Arbor (tree) groups won’t touch ’em (or anything like ’em).
What I’d like to convey with this page of the LAWN DOT website are some personal observations over 20 years of prototype placements around trees (and other lawn features), competitors’ offerings, and ‘natural’ treatments with the same purpose. Let me start long ago, when the only options were natural…
Sheep. Yes, sheep or other livestock were the preferred method of keeping vegetation under control. And they would usually eat right up to whatever lawn features (see TERMS AND CONDITIONS on the lower menu bar for our definition of ‘lawn feature’), and even slightly beyond their fencing. Results were varied by the available vegetation (certain weeds didn’t appeal to most critters), the animal(s) assigned the task and the duration of animal residence, often until the litter was worse than the growth. (What? Pets do that in your yard, don’t they?) And that was good enough, until, …
Civilized man progressed away from an agrarian society, and moved into cities and towns, leaving only a skeleton staff to raise our food, which included our domesticated grazing-animal protein sources. With the majority of the population now lacking grazing animals, new means of keeping the yard from looking abandoned were sought.
The sickle was so much work and so time consuming (the name is a hint: sick-le) that the Scots turned it into a game which rewarded the least use. Fore!
So, the reel-type push-powered grass mower appeared on the scene. (Ya know, a more authoritative history can be found at www.oldlawnmowerclub.co.uk ). They weren’t much less work than the sickle, and just bent over anything taller than 6 inches. Then a rapid evolution began. Mowers became gas-powered, then ‘rotary’ gas-powered, then self-propelled rotary, riding, zero-turn, with cupholders, etc., you know, eventually easy enough to hire someone else to do. Yet the modern machines that replaced those small sheep mouths couldn’t get close enough to stuff (see TERMS AND CONDITIONS / LAWN FEATURE & OBSTRUCTION on the lower menu bar). Drat !! Some part of the mowing chore wasn’t getting done! Let’s review some other remedies:
LET ‘ER GO TO BLAZES: …………most civilized men just couldn’t live with that………….
HAND GRASS SHEARS:
Capable of cutting small amounts and sizes of infringing grass with a minimal number of reported carpel-tunnel cases. Unfortunately, no yard ever was completed before the owner expired and the property changed hands (to make room for another unreported case).
Seemed better than hand shears, but the mulch would rot and need refreshing, allow stuff to grow, scatter when passed by a rotary mower – but, if we add a weed barrier and edging, then it would rot and need refreshing, allow stuff to grow, scatter when passed by a rotary mower – but we’d be in better physical shape from all the heavy work of digging up sod to place the edging and barrier, plus the extra work on our ‘job’ to pay for the extra materials, and next years’ “refresh”, which eventually builds up to become a “mulch volcano” that grows bacteria on the bark until it kills the tree and negates the need for anything except a stump grinder. Oh, well. (I prefer the black kind that stains so easily.)
What a marvel. Initially not well thought-out ergonomically, but has improved with the decades. At least now they’re a more balanced load on the hands (but not the back), don’t smoke quite so much, usually start (until they won’t), don’t break quite so easily… But, you still have to USE them (“But, Honey, the game’s on!”), buy gas and oil and mix ’em-special, store the darn things, buy more line, repair, replace (seems nobody can own just one), need I go on? And by the way, they still cut in a circle, admittedly smaller than most mowers, but still a circle. What’s that matter? If you’re trimming around stuff with nooks and crannies, you’re tempted to round them out to get the trimming done, which creates some kind of damage, and on trees, damage can be deadly. Did I mention that you still have to USE ’em? (No matter – I saw that game already, anyway.) (The next generation of trimmers is rumored to include cupholders.)
MATTED, CHIPPED, RECYCLED TIRE RUBBER:
A great idea. We need a good way to dispose of those mountains of environmental nightmare. But resurfacing roads could be a better use. (Check out www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Tires/GreenRoads ) Just a couple problems with the samples I purchased: they recommended digging to remove sod (work is what I was hoping to avoid), they opened up at the parting slit (the cut that allow them to go around stuff) which allowed stuff to grow through, they let water (and germinated seeds roots) to get through them, the center hole was too big for my small stuff and nearly impossible to cut bigger for my other stuff, and if the hole around my growing trees wasn’t re-sized as they grew, the mats were so stiff that they started to restrict the trunk growth. (OK, that’s more than a couple.)
Another marvel. Taken from the Greek word ‘razedahellwitveggies’, meaning to erase unplanned crop, RoundUp, a trademark name registered by Monsanto, is an adaptation from agricultural purposes meaning, “Dang it! That ain’t the crap(sp) that I wanted growin’ here!”, this ubiquitous herbicide and all its knock-offs really works pretty well, when you do it just right. Aside from the general concerns of storing and handling poisonous chemicals (’round here, you have to be trained and certified to apply it for others), you still have to USE them (“Who’s winning the game, now, Honey?”). There’s the cost – not just the chemical, but the sprayer and off-duty storage. The mixing – just right for the intended plants (special formula for poison ivy), soil type, soil moisture content, time of year, time of DAY for sun conditions, am I forgetting any idiosyncrasies? The application – wind conditions, sun conditions, preparation for masking any plants that you DON’T intend to kill, what got treated (that maybe you didn’t intend to), what WILL die?, what WON’T die and need re-application and how long before it’s known, how much will over-spray kill, in what shape? Yup, it’s a marvel; when used just right. And did I mention, you still have to USE it? Yes, again. It wore off. And the stuff that grew back is uglier than the first stuff.
Now, erosion. For a Farmer (agricultural purposes), who’s planting another crop right away, anyway, erosion isn’t a big concern. A residential or commercial application, however, will have exposed bare ground for a long time (if the spray worked). How charming. Better get some mulch (see MULCH, above). Bare ground is prone to erosion, and the plants that eventually replace whatever you’ve just killed-off will be of the deep-rooted variety; thistle, pig weed, dandelion and the like, that will offer little in the way of erosion protection. Well, perfection is hard to find in this world.
The worlds quickest, easiest, most reliable and longest lasting trimming method. Given the alternatives, they’re certainly worth a try.
From my personal experience with prototype Lawn Dots, their thin cross-section will yield to the forces of tree growth. But, if you use a LAWN DOT around a plant, it’s your responsibility to monitor the plant’s condition, and take appropriate action when necessary; like re-sizing the center hole (quick and easy with common scissors) of your LAWN DOT.
I know that I’m biased (lazy, smelly, profane, forgetful, etc., depending on who you ask), but the presentation above represents my real life experiences with this dilemma. By the way, I saw my Detroit Tigers win it all – from my Lazy-Boy, while sipping a beer, and trimming my lawn features. (Oops; forgot. I no longer have to. A white lie.)
SINCE I PROMISED,
here’s a list of real Arborists, who seem to endorse only one treatment for the base of trees: COMPOST. They find fault with every common treatment I’ve ever seen. And, they explain why.
National Arborist Association
International Association of Arborists
National Arbor Association
Take a minute and check ’em out. Then check out the Lawn Dot promotional and educational videos on this site. Way cooler. Thank you in advance, for tolerating the humorous treatment of this menu section – and for buying and using Lawn Dots to trim your lawn features. Scripts from most of the videos are shown below, for your further convincing pleasure.
Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers permanently replace the need for constant trimming and poison chemical spraying because they fix the problem with their first application. They’re not temporary. They don’t expand the area to be trimmed like most decorative treatments that themselves become mowing obstructions. Lawn Dots will not ‘creep’, gradually becoming larger areas than originally desired, nor allow erosion, like chemical poisons. Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers are low cost, quick and easy to apply, never need fuel or refuse to start, don’t use poisons at precise mixing ratios, or particular weather conditions to apply or succeed. Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers are not mowing obstructions, need no special tools or other products for completion, and allow common mowers to finish without separate efforts to trim. Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers won’t cause side effects like damage to mowers or the lawn features themselves. They work by denying sunlight. They’re non-porous so nothing can grow through them. They don’t need re-application or refreshing like wood mulch (organic mulches) or eventual weeding like all mulches applied over permeable fabric weed barriers. They don’t take up storage space like poison chemicals and their sprayers/spreaders, or like string trimmers and their spare line and fuels. Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers are the quickest, easiest, most reliable, and longest lasting trimming method.
Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers are designed to lay flat on the ground so there’s nothing for a mower to hit or scatter as they pass over, leaving a finished cut. Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers are made by a patented process that can make the unique tapered flat cross section in more than a full circle, to include a substantial overlap of the parting slit. The parting slit allows for its one-piece, no-assembly-required installation, and the substantial overlap assures complete, reliable coverage – even over ground irregularities.
The tapered cross-section is thicker at the outer perimeter to endure mower traffic and thins toward the central hole, making it easier to cut to size and form a tight ‘lip’ seal around the lawn feature—the most efficient use of material. The thermoplastic material is specially formulated to be very heavy while being thin and flexible. This blend of characteristics enables Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers to smother vegetation and conform to the ground all by themselves. Other ingredients protect the favorite landscape colors from weathering. Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers can be moved or reused if desired without leaving harmful side effects. They’re recyclable and are currently available in 3 handy sizes.
Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers come in 3 sizes, as well as 5 colors, and here’s why.
Some yards are smaller and mowed with push style mowers, more easily maneuvered around lawn features. Some obstructions are smaller diameter and can be trimmed safely with a smaller Lawn Dot. Bigger lawns are usually cut with riding mowers that move faster and could cause greater damage. Or the obstructive lawn feature is a larger diameter. And some obstructions are large and need the added margin of a larger Lawn Dot.
So, which size to pick?
Consider the right margin for safe trimming with your lawn mower. Grass, your lawn, whatever vegetation, won’t grow straight up from the edge of the Lawn Dot. It will lay out over the edge, usually about as much as it is in height when you mow. Say you cut your lawn when it’s 4 inches tall. Grass will lay out onto your Lawn Dot about four inches. Then your mower needs to pass over it with enough margin to suck it up to the blades to cut it back to, say, 2 and a 1/2 inches. Then you want some clearance between the mower and the obstructive feature. From this criteria, pick the size that best fits your obstruction, feature, mowing circumstances. An 18 inch Lawn Dot with a 1 inch center hole will work best with push mowers and obstructions to, say, 3 inches diameter. A 24 inch Lawn Dot with its 1 inch center hole will work best with riding mowers and features to about 8 inches diameter. For utility poles, fire hydrants, telephone terminal boxes, etc., of seven inch diameter or larger, we suggest using the 30 inch Lawn Dot, which comes with a 7 inch diameter center hole.
Lawn Dot brand vegetation barriers’ specially formulated heavy thermoplastic material is easily cut with common scissors, and for good reason. You may want to alter its center hole, or its outer perimeter to fit a spot next to a sidewalk, house, or additional obstruction. But just as importantly, if it ever is caught up by a mower blade, it must cut quickly to avoid an unbalanced mower condition or other mower damage. Arts and crafts shows teach this as well as, or better, than I can, so my hole sizing advice is simplified. When you can, trace from an example of the feature or obstruction, or piece together a template of the obstruction from paper or cardboard. If the feature or obstruction is irregular or large, try feathering the interior hole with a series of cuts from the center to nearly the diameter of the object to get a closer trial fit. If the fit doesn’t create a sunlight tight lip seal or is otherwise questionable, add a cloth, paper or other sunlight blocking material adapter to provide a sunlight seal and cover as closely as reasonable with the center hole size.
Should anything happen that causes damage to a Lawn Dot without destroying it, slip a sunlight blocking material like paper, cloth, or cardboard under the damaged area.
Worthy of mentioning here – if the lawn feature or obstruction is not circular, so that the Lawn Dot must retain its orientation to work effectively, then staking is the most assured way. We can provide wire staples for this purpose, or you can use commonly available light gauge wire. We suggest bending the wire into a U-shape and setting the staple under the overlap portion to hide and protect it.