Trees get nutrients from the soil. Putting mulch around your trees allows the trees to get added nutrients. Mulch can give your trees nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Mulch also conserves the moisture in the soil, can improve the fertility of the trees and can reduce weed growth around the trunk.
When applying mulch, you should start a few inches away from the trunk of the tree and work your way outward. The outer circle of the tree should not be higher than 4 inches. The inner circle, near your tree’s trunk, should not cover more than an inch of the trunk of your tree.
Improper Mulching Dangers
Although mulching your trees can have very beneficial effects, too much mulch can be a danger to your trees. Too much mulch around the tree, “Mulch Volcano,” can create an excessive build of moisture around the tree trunk, causing suffocation, decay, and rot.
Secondly, too much mulch around the tree can stop moisture from reaching the soil and dry out the dirt around the tree. Too much mulch can cause smaller roots to grow upward toward the moisture, circling the tree trunk. Eventually, these roots will cut off the nutrients from the primary roots. If left untreated, the tree can prematurely die out.
Is your tree a victim of Improper Mulching?
You can tell if your trees have too much mulch around the trunk by a covered root flare. The root flare is where the tree begins to flare out at the bottom where the roots are visible. If your tree’s root flare and lower trunk are not viewable, you should call your tree care providers, or a board-certified arborist to come out and assess the health and risks of your tree.