All About Mulch

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Throughout the month of April, we will be sharing tree tips with the community in celebration of Arbor Day. Stay tuned and be ready to leaf into action!

Trees can suffer from too much of a good thing!  Mulch can help your trees flourish in the extreme daytime temperatures that will soon be the norm. Mulch retains moisture in the soil at the base of your trees. Mulch helps to prevent unwanted grass and weed growth, and helps prevent damaging lawnmower or weed eater strikes to the trunk of the tree.

What’s wrong with this picture? The many benefits of mulching the base of your tree are negated by not leaving a three inch gap between the tree trunk and the mulch.

What’s wrong with this picture? The many benefits of mulching the base of your tree are negated by not leaving a three inch gap between the tree trunk and the mulch.

For best results, don’t mulch an area extending three inches from the base of your tree, and keep organic mulch to a depth of three inches. When mulch is placed up against the trunk of your trees, and when mulch is too deep, it creates an environment harmful to trees. Tree bark is meant to protect the trunk. It works best in the air and light. If you pile mulch onto the bark, it is now exposed to dark and moisture. Bark will begin to rot, and rotted bark cannot protect the tree from insects and diseases. Harmful diseases grow better in this type of environment.

Mulch piled around the trunk also promotes the growth of secondary roots, which can encircle the trunk and choke off the trees main roots. Some trees have shallow roots such as maples, and deep mulch encourages these roots to grow into it. A mountain of mulch, piled high against a tree trunk will not kill the tree immediately - it results in slow death over several years.