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3 Crucial Mulching Tips for Healthy Trees

To aid its development and protect your tree from adverse effects of extreme weather, mulching should be implemented. Not only does it insulate the soil at the base, but it also aids root growth and conserves moisture for the plant. It’s ability to reduce weeds and their roots, are an added benefit. As you can see there are varied benefits; with these simple to follow mulching tips, you can grow healthy and long-lasting trees.

mulched healthy tree surrounded by grass

Apply Organic Mulch

Compost, leaves, tree bark, pine needles, and plant by-products are all used in organic mulch. Depending on the climate, materials, and soil composition, organic mulch decomposes at different rates.

It is the breaking down of these elements that improve the soil quality and nutrient source for trees. Naturally, the ones that decompose at a faster pace require you refresh and replenish them more often. However, the positive benefits of organic mulch far outweigh the frequency at which they require being replenished.

Abstain from volcano mulching

This ineffective approach is when mulch is piled against and around the base of the tree, whereas the shape resembles a “volcano”. It is inappropriate to place the matter around the trunk of the tree. The effects of Volcano mulching can be grave, as it promotes deterioration and is a great environment for pests and unwanted insects.

As a good point of reference, place the mulch starting 2-4 inches away from the trunk, and continue out slightly past the drip line.

drip line from tree leaves down to the soil

Since the root system usually extends beyond the drip line, it’s okay and appropriate to cover the radius beyond the drip line with mulch as well. Essentially, mulch covers the roots and ground around the roots of trees.

Layering and Refreshing of Existing Mulch

Another potential mistake is having too much mulch, which is easy to do when you don’t when piling fresh mulch on top of old mulch.

You want no less than 4 inches of mulch in depth. Upon checking if there is sufficient mulch, then simply rake and refresh the pile. If there is insufficient mulch upon inspection, break up the existing matted mulch with a rake. Then lay new mulch over the old mulch and mix it with a rake.

Mulch Can Significantly Promote the Health of Your Trees

Strictly applied, mulching is helpful to trees. Do not let mulch rest on the shoot as you lay mulch 3-4 inches close to the drip line of the tree during closing. The mulch should be in the form of a flat ring donut with the shoot in the center. Most preferred over inorganic mulch (rocks, stones) is organic mulch (bark of hardwood and softwood, leaves, cocoa hulls, etc.)