Though many associate it with flower and vegetable gardens, mulch is a valuable resource for your trees as well. It inhibits weed growth, encourages moisture retention in the roots while maintaining oxygen flow, and as it decomposes, it releases nutrients into the soil. Know what to do—and what to avoid—so you can use tree mulch properly.
Before you start mulching, remove all the grass in a six-foot radius around the tree. This gives you the space you need to lay your mulch. Grass steals the nutrients in the soil from the tree and will inhibit its growth. By trimming the grass back far enough, you’ll avoid any accidental damage from your lawn mower as well.
Your tree mulch ring needs to be wide enough to cover the roots. It should spread at least 3 feet out from the base of the trunk. 6 feet is ideal, however, whether your tree is brand-new or established.
Touch the trunk.
The “mulch volcano” is a common mistake as people pile up mulch around the base of the trunk. This traps moisture on the trunk, leaving the tree susceptible to disease or insect infestations. Start the mulch at 3-6 inches out from the trunk, leaving a ring of clean earth around the tree.
Lay it too thick.
The ideal tree mulch layer is 2-4 inches deep and evenly spread across the entire area. Anything thicker than that will block oxygen flow and choke the roots, which is the opposite of what you want. When you replenish the mulch layer in future years, your 4-inch maximum should include whatever mulch is left over plus the fresh material.
An arborist can help your property stay beautiful, including a healthy supply of tree mulch. Casey Tree Experts is certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and happily serve property owners in Lilburn, GA, and the surrounding areas. These professionals have more than 35 years of experience in residential and commercial tree services. Learn more about their specialties online and call (770) 498-7000 to schedule an appointment.