How to Mulch Around Trees: Four Steps

When scoping out your neighborhood’s best-manicured lawns, you may notice that each tree has a mulch bed. If you’re wondering, “How to mulch around trees,” it’s essential to understand what type of mulch and how much mulch to use. Know how to properly mulch your trees for effective and efficient growth from Cortland’s tree service experts.

Why Is Mulching Your Trees Important?

Using a layer of mulch around the roots of your tree helps protect them from harsh weather conditions. In addition, the mulch provides extra nutrients that keep your tree healthy. Mulch also acts like a sponge, soaking up rainwater and distributing it below to ensure your tree stays hydrated.

Proper mulching can give your tree extra resources and protection, but knowing how to lay mulch correctly and effectively saves your tree from accidental damage. Follow the steps below to mulch your trees and keep them happy and healthy.

Step 1: Calculate How Much Mulch to Use

Some homeowners get carried away and create a raised circular mulch bed around their tree’s roots. However, too much mulch can deprive a tree of water, suffocate the tree roots, and create the perfect bedding for small rodents that might damage your tree. Some good rules of thumb to follow for calculating mulch usage include:

  • Never let the mulch touch the trunk of the tree.
  • Young trees need mulch three to five inches away from their base.
  • Mature trees need mulch eight to ten inches away from their base.
  • Mulch should stretch about three feet away from where it begins.
  • Mulch layers should never measure more than four inches deep.

Step 2: Choose Which Type of Mulch to Use

Your choice of mulch often depends on how you want your trees to look. Organic mulch provides a mixture of organic matter, including pine needles, wood shavings, chipped brush, and crop residues. These organic materials create a mulch with a dark earthy tone and feels soft and fluffy to the touch.

Another common type of mulch comes in the form of wood chips. This thicker kind of mulch provides excellent protection to the roots of your tree while collecting plenty of water beneath during rains or watering.

Step 3: Start Your Ring at the Tree Base

Now that you have the mulch you need, it’s time to learn how to mulch around trees. When laying your mulch, measure how far out from the base to begin mulching according to the rules of thumb above. Evenly spread your mulch out from that circle, and ensure that you don’t pour your mulch too deep.

Some landscapers build a frame around their trees to help guide them during mulching. If you don’t have a frame for your mulch, remember only to spread the mulch about three feet away from your baseline.

Step 4: Maintain Your Mulch Bed

After creating the best mulch bed possible for your tree, use these tips for maintaining it:

Mulch offers nutrients to every plant, not just your tree. Pull all unwanted growth out of the mulch bed, or use an herbicide safe for trees to prevent future plant growth.

Use a rake to keep the top mulch layer loose. Impacted top layers can prevent water and oxygen from reaching your tree’s roots.

Each year, add a new top layer to your mulch bed. This new layer reintroduces nutrients into the mulch bed while preventing weed growth and promoting good health for your tree.

Professional Mulching in Cortland, OH

If you’re searching for “How to mulch around trees,” the experts at Starwood Tree Service in Cortland, OH, can help. Call the most trusted tree company in Cortland at (330) 231-5022 to learn more about our mulching services today.

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