Trees are like people: they need food, water and shelter to survive. Thankfully, mulch can help provide all of these (for trees, of course!).
Organic (i.e. made of biodegradable material, not rubber or plastic) mulch is an excellent source of food for a tree’s roots. Over time, mulch will decompose, improve the surrounding soil, and benefit the tree by providing nutrients.
When applied correctly, mulch can help direct water towards the tree’s root system and will also act as a barrier from evaporation and prevent the roots from drying out.
Mulch is a great security blanket for a tree. A layer of organic mulch will suppress weeds that attempt to grow up close to the tree and compete for nutrients. A ring of mulch around a tree’s trunk will prevent mowers and string trimmers from getting too close and causing damage. Mulch will also – literally – act as a blanket — an extra layer of insulation on top of the root system will help protect the tree from extreme temperatures.
The easiest way to remember how to mulch a tree is to follow the 3-3-3 rule: 3 feet wide, 3 inches deep, and 3 inches away from the trunk.
With mulch, a little goes a long way. Avoid piling a ‘volcano’ of mulch around the base of your tree — this is one of the easiest ways to jeopardize tree health!
Too much mulch will: