It's that time of year again. Residents are freshening up their tree mulch, and most are doing it wrong, to the detriment of their trees and street trees.
If you are going to add new mulch to your trees this spring, please keep these factors in mind:
- There is such a thing as too much mulch. Generally you should only have a 2" thick layer of mulch at most, total, including old mulch. More than that will not be beneficial to the tree as it cuts off oxygen and water from getting into the soil where the tree's roots can use them for its growth and health.
- Mulch should NEVER cover the root flare or trunk of a tree. Doing so traps moisture against the trunk, leading to disease and trunk rot. It also can lead to roots that can encircle the tree, possibly choking itself to death over the long term.
- It is not too late to correct a bad situation caused by previous poor mulching practices. See the video here for how to correct a tree with chronically deep mulch.
- If you have a landscaper manage your landscape, insist that your landscaper follow correct mulching practices so you can have healthy trees for more than your lifetime.