Skip to main content

NC State Extension

Weeds Are Out — Ground Covers Are In!

en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

trees_ladybug turkey-eggs1 trees_weeds7 trees_weeds2 trees_buttercups trees_weeds6 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s a change taking place in the Christmas tree industry in western North Carolina. Bare soil around trees is becoming a thing of the past. Tall weeds that compete with Christmas trees are being controlled by managing low growing ground covers.

What is a ground cover? In the landscape, people plant ground covers in shady places under trees. But in Christmas tree fields, growers manage the weeds around trees to create a biodiverse ground cover. These include low growing clovers, strawberries, violets, buttercups, and many other woodland perennials making a green carpet.

Ground covers in Christmas tree fields have many benefits including:

  • Reducing erosion so the tree farm is sustainable year after year and streams stay clean.
  • Reducing soil temperatures so tree roots take up soil nutrients better.
  • Providing habitat for insect predators so fewer pesticides are used and there is less pest damage.
  • Providing a habitat for wildlife including quail, rabbits and turkeys.
  • Reducing problems with difficult to control weeds since there is no bare ground for weed seeds to germinate.

These fields aren’t just let go. It takes a shrewd manager to keep the right kind of ground covers thriving while keeping problem weeds under control. With these current production practices, mowers and weedeaters which can damage trees are seldom used.

Ground covers make sense. And they help make a pretty tree!

Written By

Jill Sidebottom, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Jill SidebottomExtension Specialist (Mountain Conifer IPM) Call Dr. Jill Email Dr. Jill Forestry & Environmental Resources
NC State Extension, NC State University
Page Last Updated: 9 years ago
Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close