Mulch around your trees protects them against drought, heat and freeze
Trees, like people, feel the effect of the elements. Like people, trees feel drought, heat, cold freezes or lack of water.
As you already know, planting trees on your property help improve the beauty of your property and add to its value. Would you consider a property beautiful if it has no trees or landscape? Just planting trees may not be enough however; you have to protect and help them grow. Mulching is one way to help your trees grow.
What is Mulch?
Mulch is the protective layer of material that is added or spread on top of the soil. Mulching is by far one of the simplest and most beneficial ways to help and protect your gardens and trees. Mulching your garden and around your trees enriches and protects the soil around the trees and flowers, and helps provide a better growing environment.
Types of Mulch
There are two types of mulch; Organic and Inorganic mulch. Organic mulch, like the name implies, is natural mulch including grass clippings, straw mulch and bark chips. Inorganic mulch includes stones, brick chips and plastic mulch. Both types of mulches are beneficial to your trees and landscape.
Benefits of mulching
• Mulch protects your soil from erosion from heavy rain.
• Reduces compaction of the soil from rain
• Helps conserve moisture thereby reducing the need for frequent watering around your trees.
• Helps maintain an even soil temperature. Soil temperature around your trees does not get too hot in the summer or too cold during the winter season.
• Helps prevent weed growth around your trees.
• Keeps your trees and fruits clean, keeps feet clean allowing access to the trees even when wet
• Applying mulch provides a finished look to your garden and around your trees.
• Organic mulching improves the condition of the soil around your trees. As the mulching decomposes, they provide organic matter. This keeps the soil loose.
Avoid “Mulch Volcanoes”
Though adding mulch around your trees is beneficial, it has to be done right for your trees to receive the full benefits. One way not to mulch around your trees is to create “mulch volcanoes”. You have probably seen them in your neighbors’ yards. A mulch volcano occurs when you build raised circular beds around your trees. The raised circular beds are filled with mulch like wood chips, which gets higher and higher as they get nearer to the trees.
The problem with mulch volcanoes is that they form a barrier that prevents water from reaching the root of the trees. Water runs off the mulch instead. Mulch volcano may also be too deep, invite rodents, pests and diseases, and suffocate tree roots especially younger trees.
How to apply mulch around your trees
Tapering the height of your mulch as you get closer to the tree and leaving the base of the tree free of mulch is the right way to add mulch to your tree. It allows your tree root “to breathe”, lets air, water and moisture reach the root of your tree while keeping the root area cool during hot weather. Also, use organic mulch around your tree more. It decomposes over time adding needed nutrients to the roots of your trees.