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Mulch Volcanoes

Mulch volcanoes have become a new, fashionable practice throughout much of the U.S.. While this may seem like it would be beneficial to the trees, it can actually have devastating consequences. Arborists everywhere are seeing trees decline and die because of improper mulching techniques.

Here are a few reasons why mulch volcanoes are causing your trees more hindrance than help:

Moisture on Trunk: Continuous moisture on a tree’s trunk can cause cankers and splits which can lead to disease, pests, and rot.

Moisture on Root Zone: Excessive moisture on the root zone can lead to root rot and fungal disease.

Matted Mulch: Blanketed, or matted mulch, can prevent a tree’s roots from receiving necessary water and oxygen leading to nutrient deficiencies, chlorosis, and death.

With these issues in mind, here are some ways to properly mulch to avoid creating a harmful environment for your trees:

Depth of Mulch: Check to see how deep your mulch is. If it is more than 2-4 inches deep, you should consider raking away some mulch and breaking up any matted or blanketed mulch areas. It is important to keep mulch flat so that water will be absorbed and not run off.

Mulch on Trunk: It is important to keep the trunk and root flare (the broadening of a tree’s trunk just above the soil line) clear of mulch and moisture. If you cannot see the root flare, chances are your mulch is either piled too high, or your tree was planted too deeply. Pull the mulch away from the trunk. If you need to remove soil to find the root flare, backfill the excavated soil with gravel to allow for proper drainage.

Area to Mulch: The most beneficial placement of mulch is a few inches away from the trunk, extending to the drip line or beyond. The drip line is the area directly located under the outer circumference of the tree limbs.

We hope this information helps you to provide your trees with the best possible environment; allowing your trees to remain a valuable asset in the landscape for years to come. If you would like a professional tree evaluation, please visit our website at https://chorbie.com/contact-us, or contact us via phone (972) 697-5221, or email at wecare@chorbie.com.

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