Mulching around your trees is a great way to improve their appearance and health. It can also reduce soil erosion, control weeds, and help retain moisture in the soil, as advised by the premier tree service in Arkadelphia, AR.
But what if you have a tree in your yard that doesn’t get a lot of sun? Should you still put mulch around it?
The answers might surprise you.
Mulching Around Trees: Is It Necessary?
When it comes to mulching around trees, there are two schools of thought: those who think it’s necessary and those who don’t.
Both sides have compelling arguments, which is why many people do both types of mulching for their landscape—one for trees and shrubs with good sun exposure and one for those that don’t get much light at all.
What Is Mulching?
Mulching is any material that covers plants’ soil to help them grow better.
Mulching materials can compose of inorganic and organic matter. Organic mulch includes compost, peat moss, shredded leaves, or grass clippings.
Inorganic mulch can include shredded cardboard, newspaper, and stone chips (although we don’t recommend using newspaper because critters can easily tear it).
What Are the Benefits of Mulching Around Trees?
Increased Water Retention
Mulch helps retain soil moisture long after it rains. This prevents drought stress on the tree roots, promoting a healthy root system.
Improved Soil Health
Mulch helps keep the soil from drying out and prevents erosion by keeping plants’ roots anchored to the ground. This improves your tree’s ability to absorb nutrients from the surrounding environment and grow strong, sturdy trunks and branches.
Reduced Weed Growth
Weeds are less likely to grow through mulch than they are to grow through bare soil. As a result, using mulch around your tree can help prevent weeds from taking over your yard!
Are There Any Drawbacks to Mulching Around Your Trees?
Clients ask us this question a lot. As long as you properly apply mulch and use the right type, you don’t have to worry about any drawbacks.
However, when applying mulch around your trees, you should be aware of a few things.
The first thing to consider is what kind of mulch works best for your climate and soil type. The most common types are:
- Wood chips or bark chips
- Grass clippings
- Hay bales
- Shredded paper or cardboard
- Pine needles
Once you decide on an appropriate mulch type for your property’s needs (with your arborist’s help), be sure to apply the mulch at least two inches deep from the soil surface.
In addition, you need to consider the following important factors when mulching around trees:
- Applying the mulch layers too thick can cause the tree to rot and die.
- Not spreading the mulch evenly around the tree can lead to an uneven distribution of nutrients and water, which can also cause problems for your trees.
- Using a lot of wood-based mulch (like bark or chips) can attract insects like termites.
Contact the Tree Experts for More Advice
If you need more advice about mulching your landscape, contact the ISA-certified arborists at Urban Jacks Tree Service. We are experienced, licensed, bonded, and insured tree experts who can help you with all your tree care needs. Whether you need advice or extensive work, we have you and your property covered.
Our professionals can give you helpful advice about mulching around trees to ensure your trees remain healthy and beautiful for years to come.
If you’re thinking of adding trees to your property, read whether you can plant a tree in the same spot, then contact us at (501) 547-4018 for a free assessment.