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Too Much Mulch - Bad!
Published: 3/7/2024
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The sparse winter and warmer temperatures are getting us all out of our winter cocoons early, and starting to look at what we can do in our yards. Mulch has become a very popular landscape element for many people, but it’s being misused. A layer of mulch can fight off weeds and some mulch can help keep moisture in the ground, but too much can prevent air and water, especially from a light rain, from getting to the roots. It can also trap moisture against the trunk, leading to trunk rot, fungus and disease which can prematurely kill your tree. Thick layers of mulch can also lead to trees creating air roots that circle the trunk and create girdling roots that can kill a tree. For mature trees, the best thing mulch does is keep mowers and weed whips away from the trunk. It doesn’t help much beyond that as a mature tree’s roots extend far beyond the typical mulch ring. If you must add mulch to a tree, use natural wood mulch and add no more than 1 inch to what’s already there. There shouldn’t be any more than 2 total inches, and there should be none against the trunk. This also applies to rocks or stones If you or the previous owner has piled up mulch on a tree before, you can fix the problem very easily.

Watch this video to see how. 

So, when you’re working on your own yard, and the street trees in front of your house, be careful of the mulch. Too much of a good thing, like mulch, may damage the very thing you’re trying to care for.