What You Need to Know About MulchSeptember 1st, 2021
The cool of fall is just around the corner, so it is almost the perfect season for grabbing a warm drink and cuddling up under a blanket. Your trees want to cozy up for the cold as well. Mulch acts like a toasty blanket to keep a tree’s roots protected and warm during the colder months. If the arborists at TreeJob could make only one maintenance suggestion for your yard, mulch would be their choice. The benefits of mulch are powerful. Your trees will be healthier year-round with the proper application of mulch.
The Benefits of Mulch
- Insulate Your Trees’ Roots—Like a sun umbrella during the summer or a blanket in winter, mulch provides a beneficial temperature barrier year-round. Your roots will avoid being scorched in the summer and chilled in the winter. A constant freeze and thaw cycle can be hard on your soil and roots, so mulch helps avoid the temperature extremes.
- Absorb and Retain Needed Moisture—Excessive water can be lost through evaporation. Mulch reduces the amount of water lost from evaporation. Your soil will be able to supply your trees’ roots properly when the needed water is sealed in.
- Improve Soil Conditions—Mulch improves the structure and composition of your soil. As mulch breaks down, the mulch infuses your soil with beneficial elements, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Also, mulch helps counteract harmful soil compaction, erosion, and water runoff. The mulch acts as a sponge-like barrier to absorb excessive water from a rainstorm or sprinkler. With mulch, your soil will also have better structure to welcome helpful organisms and earthworms to benefit the structure and fertility of your soil.
- Cut Back on The Competition—When weeds are in the soil around your tree, their roots will compete for resources with your trees’ roots. A layer of mulch will help prevent weeds from growing up around your trees and stealing their nutrients.
- Improve the Appearance of Your Yard—Organic mulch can come in a variety of colors and material types to suit your preferences. Mulch beds beneath your trees will look attractive, intentional, and well-kept.
Using Mulch Properly
- Never build it up around the base of your tree—Leave about a 6 inch donut shaped hole around the base of your tree. Mulch around the base of your tree could allow moisture to build up on your tree, which could encourage pests, rot, and diseases.
- Apply a 3 Inch Layer of Mulch—Overdoing mulch can hurt your tree. If the mulch is too thick, the mulch will be unable to break down as intended. Make sure your mulch extends to at least a 4-5 foot diameter or to the dripline of the branches.
- Check Your Mulch Periodically—Mulch must be replenished once or twice a year. We generally recommend checking it in the fall and spring to ensure the roots are in good shape for the upcoming temperature extremes in winter and summer.
Treat your trees to the best–start mulching today! The team at TreeJob is standing by if you need mulch support.