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Why You Shouldn’t Over Mulch

September 24th, 2020

Mulch can be extremely beneficial for your trees if placed properly. As the saying says, there can be “too much of a good thing.” Mulch is no exception. When you over mulch your trees, the downsides outweigh the benefits quickly. TreeJob recommends following proper mulching practices, which outlines placing no more than 1-3 inches of mulch around the base of a tree. Homeowners can be tempted to build it up further to delay having to place it as frequently. Consider the following key reasons for not over mulching:

  • Your Soil Holds Onto Too Much Moisture—When you build up the mulch around the base of your tree, moisture is locked in and your tree will be negatively impacted. Not only will your tree be susceptible to rot, the layer of tissue beneath the bark called cambium which transports moisture to the tree’s leaves will rot. Excessive moisture which allows rotting can lead to the death of your tree.
  • Your Soil Will Retain Too Much Heat—Think of mulch like a thick blanket on a bed. If you are underneath a thick blanket, you will get very warm from the trapped heat. Your soil will do the same thing when covered with an excessively thick coat of mulch as the mulch heats up with decomposition. A proper layer of mulch will protect your soil from the sun without stifling it during the process of decomposing.
  • Your Soil Will Lack Necessary Oxygen—Plants need oxygen just like we do. Trees get their oxygen from their roots. If the soil has too much moisture, your plants are literally choked because of being unable to get oxygen. Your trees will not survive without getting the oxygen they need from their roots.
  • Your Soil Will Welcome Unwanted Visitors—A thick coating of mulch seems like it would be a safeguard for your soil, but it actually makes your soil a welcoming spot for bacteria, fungus, and pests. All these harmful organisms can endanger the health of your tree and whole yard. When these unwanted visitors get into your yard, they can inflict serious damage and be challenging to get rid of completely. Proper mulch around your tree’s base will benefit your tree without making it the perfect nest for pests.

Mulch is a great step to take for your tree’s overall health when done properly. If you are interested in learning more about mulch or scheduling one of our team members to mulch your yard, reach out to TreeJob today!

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