It is important to keep grass and weeds from competing with young trees – they are the biggest competitor for young trees and steal water and fertilizer from the new plantings. Try to keep a 2-3′ circle clear of weeds from the base of the trunk. Mulch moderates soil temperature extremes and helps moisture retention, as well as keeps weed growth down. We recommend Grow Tubes because you can spray Roundup or other herbicides close to the tree without hitting the stem. If you do not use Grow Tubes, be very careful with herbicide, especially on young trees, because they can absorb it directly through the bark. It only takes a few drops to kill the tree; so apply only when there is no wind, use a colored dye mixed in the herbicide so you can see it being applied, and protect the trunk with a shield or hood on the fertilizer wand.