This week, the Twin Cities’ StarTribune reported on the mysterious decline of trees around Minnesota. Except the decline wasn’t actually so mysterious: local lawn care companies had treated homeowners lawns with a weed killer called Imprelis. Unfortunately, turns out, Imprelis wreaks havoc on trees, particularly conifers.

How the herbicide made it on to the market without a warning about the tree problem remains a real mystery. Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit regarding the matter was filed on Monday.

So what’s the lesson for you in all this? For starters, put your trees front and center in your thinking. A lawn is a lot easier to replace than a twenty-year-old tree. When you’re tempted to spray weed killer near your trees, err on the side of caution. Even if the label claims the herbicide is safe for trees, you’re better off giving your trees a wide berth.

And “prioritizing your trees” isn’t just a lesson that applies to the cautious application of weed killer. When you’re tempted to mow over surface tree roots for the sake of easy lawn mowing, slow down and think about it. It’s not worth damaging the tree. When you’re dealing with thatch or soil compaction, again, tread easy around those trees.

A weed-free lawn and healthy trees can go hand-in-hand. Just be careful with your approach to weed control, and show your trees the love they deserve.