Tall fescue probably sprouts from short rhizomes  after aerial portions are burned. Tufts formed by the leaves  may protect basal buds from fire damage. Tall fescue seeds have been found in the seedbank ; tall fescue may regenerate from soil-stored seed.
Tall fescue invades native grasslands, savannas, woodlands and other high-light natural habitats. In the Midwest, many thousands of acres of native prairie have been seeded with tall fescue for well meaning but misguided conservation purposes. In the Ozarks, woodlands and barrens were converted to tall fescue pasture to enhance grazing income. Some varieties of tall fescue, including Kentucky 31, harbor a mutualistic fungal endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum) that gives it a competitive advantage over some plants, including legumes. As a result, communities dominated by tall fescue are often low in plant species richness. In addition, alkaloids produced by endophyte-infected tall fescue may be toxic to small mammals and of low palatability to ungulates (such as cattle, deer and elk). Many ground-nesting birds, including Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), are unable to use tall fescue fields as foraging or nesting habitat because of a lack of habitat structure and vegetation composition.
Perennial, culms erect, tufted, 40-180 cm tall, unbranched. Blades glabrous, 10-60 cm long, 5-15 mm wide, nerves prominent above; sheath wit narrow crescent auricles at the mouth; auricles usually ciliate on margins; ligules 1-2 mm tall. Panicle 10-30 cm long; branches usually paired, the longer one with more spikelets than the shorter one. Spikelets 3-10-flowered, 8-17 mm long; glumes unequal; the lower 1-nerved, 3-6 mm long, the upper 3-nerved, 5-7 mm long; lemmas 5-nerved, 6-7 mm long, back obtusely keeled, apex muticous or awned, awn straight, 1-4 mm long; paleas as long as lemmas. Anther 3-4(-6) mm long.
Tall fescue is a long-lived, aggressive perennial . Tall fescue competitive ability and persistence is increased by the allelopathic compounds it produces . It colonizes bare soil, and is a strong competitor in many species mixtures [34,35]. Tall fescue can invade open, natural communities and displace native species. It spreads slowly vegetatively, but once the heavy clumps of tall fescue develop they are difficult to eradicate .
Tall fescue grows best in open sunlight  but is somewhat suppressed by shade . Tall fescue grew within and adjacent to staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) colonies on revegetated roadside embankments in northern Kentucky. Both areas were dominated by tall fescue, but inside the colonies tall fescue was less prominent .