Proper Mulching of Trees Keeps Them Healthy
Mulching trees will keep them happy and healthy. The health of a tree will be vastly improved if it is properly mulched. Mulch will also help to enhance the appearance of a home’s landscape.
Mulch will help to keep the soil moist around the trunk of a tree. It will reduce the evaporation of water from around tree’s trunks and roots. This helps to minimize the need to water the trees.
Mulch will help to minimize weed growth around trees. How much mulch is needed to reduce the growth of weeds? A two to three inch layer of mulch will be sufficient to keep weeds from growing around trees. Mulch also will insulate the soil around a tree, keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
What Type Mulch to Use
There are two main kinds of mulch, organic and inorganic. Organic mulches decompose and help to improve the structure of soil and provide nutrients to the tree. Inorganic mulches do not decompose and are much longer lasting.
Types of inorganic mulches include lava rock, stones, ground up rubber, and some fabrics. They do not help to improve the soil around a tree’s trunk. They also do not provide any nutrients to the tree.
Organic mulches include pine needles, bark chips, wood chips, cocoa hulls, compost mixes, leaves and other plant derivatives. All organic mulches decompose and provide nutrients to the tree. The rate of decomposition will vary depending on the type of material and the weather. Because of this decomposition, organic mulches have to be replenished much more often than inorganic mulches.
How Much Mulch to Use
It is important to use the right amount of mulch. Too much mulch can be as harmful as too little. If too little mulch is used, the mulch will not be effective in keeping moisture in and weeds out. However, if too much mulch is used, it can cause root rot in the tree. If mulch is piled high against the trunk of a tree, it can cause disease and bug problems in the tree. Mulch that is piled too high can also create a home for rodents who will chew the tree’s bark and destroy it. The recommended depth for mulch it two to four inches.
How to Apply Mulch
Ensure that there is proper drainage around the tree before applying mulch. If there is old mulch around the tree, check to see how deep it is. If it is between two and four inches, do not add any more mulch. If the old mulch appears matted, rake it to break up any matted areas and to make it look more presentable. If necessary, add new much until the proper depth is reached. Then pull the mulch a few inches away from the trunk of the tree to expose its trunk. Extend the mulch out to the drip line of the tree. When finished, water the mulch to help it settle in place.
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