Creating a mulch ring around a newly planted or young tree is the single best practice that can be done to ensure the health of the tree, as well as encourage proper growth. Research shows that, over time, a mulch ring placed 3-6 feet around a tree can nearly double its growth rate. This is because mulching decreases the tree’s competition for water and nutrients from grass and other vegetation. Mulching helps the soil retain moisture by reducing surface evaporation, moderates the temperature of the root zone, controls grass and weed growth near the tree, improves soil structure and drainage by limiting compaction, adds vital nutrients to the soil, reduces soil erosion, and lessens the likelihood of injury to the tree from lawn mowers or weed eaters. In addition, adding fresh mulch around your trees and shrubs gives your home some added curb appeal.
When applying mulch there are some things you should consider.
- Keep your mulch layer between 2-4 inches. Too much mulch over the root system starves the roots of oxygen and prevents water from making its way into the ground and to the roots.
- Do not mound mulch against the tree trunk, as this can cause too much water to be trapped around the trunk of the tree, making it susceptible to cracking and sickness from viruses or fungus. Keep your mulch a few inches away from the base of the tree.
- Using a high-quality wood chip or bark mulch feeds your tree key nutrients, as well as controls water dispersion, temperature, and oxygen flow. Always avoid synthetic mulches.
Consult with an arborist from Hentges Tree Service if you have any questions or concerns about tree health. Hentges Tree Service wants to keep your trees strong, healthy and well anchored in the ground.
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