5 Tips For Mulching Your Landscape Trees

One of the best things you can do for the trees in your yard is mulch them. Mulch helps reduce weed growth around trees while also improving the soil and helping to retain moisture.

1. Weed First

Failure to pull weeds and turf grass from the area to be mulched is an exercise in frustration, as the weeds will simply grow through the mulch and look bad. Pull up the weeds by the roots and cut out any sod growing in the area around the tree that is to be mulched. Avoid using broad-spectrum herbicides that can penetrate into the soil and affect tree roots. Contact herbicides that only kill foliage that the poison comes in direct contact with are okay to use.

2. Ring It In

The area to be mulched should extend a couple of feet out from the trunk of the tree, although you can extend the area further for large shade trees if needed. Make the area look neater and keep the mulch easier to maintain by installing an edging ring around the area to be mulched. This can be as simple as rubber edging strips, or you can opt for something more ornate such as bricks or poured concrete garden edging. The ring keeps the mulch from blowing into the yard and creates a barrier to help keep weeds out.

3. Choose Wood

Wood mulch is preferred over inorganic mulches like pebbles. As wood decomposes, it will add nutrients to the soil around the tree as well as help loosen the soil so moisture and air seep down to the roots more easily. Pine straw is an alternative for evergreen trees or other trees that do well in somewhat acidic soils. Otherwise, wood chips, shredded bark, or bark nuggets are good options.

4. Lay It Thick

A thin mulch layer is ineffectual, as it isn't thick enough to reduce water loss from evaporation or suppress weed growth. The mulch layer should be laid to a depth of a couple of inches and then raked regularly to disturb the roots of any weeds that attempt to germinate. Raking deeper mulch layers, particularly in winter, will also keep out rodents that may nest in the mulch. Pull back the deep mulch layer so it doesn't rest against the tree trunk, as this can cause damage.

5. Plan to Reapply

Wood mulches do require reapplication to maintain their depth around the tree as the mulch decomposes. Fall is the best time to apply fresh mulch. Not only does this give your yard a facelift as you enter the more austere winter months, but the thicker layer will also help insulate the tree's roots against winter temperatures. 

Contact a company like Smitty's Tree Service Inc to learn more. 

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Understanding Tree Care

Hi there, I am Ryan. Welcome to my website about tree care. I want to talk about the different tools and techniques used by tree service professionals to keep your lovely trees healthy and growing. I will explore the various ways tree service pros can eliminate bugs and other pests from your tree line. I will also talk about the different methods used to prune trees and encourage new growth to blossom. I invite you to visit my site often to learn more about tree service so you can keep the trees on your property growing strong for many years to come.