Mulch is great for your trees. It helps to retain moisture in the soil and regulates soil temperature, keeping roots at the proper temperature throughout the year. Mulch also reduces damage to roots and trunks from lawn mowers and weed whackers. These devices often cut through the bark into the tree’s vascular system, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients. The cuts also become openings for pests and diseases to breach natural defenses and attack the tree. As beneficial as mulch is, improper mulching can be worse than no mulch at all.
Many people think piling mulch up against a tree is the best way to mulch. In fact, mulch should not come in contact with the base of the root. This can cause moisture to become trapped against the trunk leading to trunk rot. It also creates the perfect environment for harmful insects to flourish close to the tree trunk.
Instead, mulch should be spread evenly in a 2-3 inch layer over the entire root zone. When you mulch this way, your tree will benefit from increased moisture, better soil temperature, and have less risk of damage from lawn mowers and harmful pests.
For advice on mulching and tree care, contact Growing Earth Tree Care.