Keep grass away

CLARENCE Valley Council is asking residents not to pile grass clippings around council-owned trees. Dumpers face an on-the-spot $750 fine.

Council open space co-ordinator Stephen Brown said many people believe clippings help the trees, but this was wrong as they could harm them.

According to council ecologist Martyn Swain, putting grass clipping around the base of trees damages them.

“Green grass clippings introduce foreign weeds, build up heat around the tree, impede water penetration and cause root rot,” he said.

“Prolific mulching with grass can cause mass anaerobic composting using up large amounts of soil nitrogen, which reduces the available soil nitrogen for the tree. This directly impacts on the health and growth of a tree to fight off disease.”

Under the Protection of the Environment and Operations Act 1997, depositing refuse of any kind, including grass clippings, on public land without authority carries a $750 fine.

Mr Swain suggested people mulch green grass clippings and garden waste and put in composts for use in the home garden.

Alternatively, glass clipping can be put in council's green bins, which are collected fortnightly for transport to the tree dump or regional landfill.

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