Trees not only add beauty to your property, but they also provide shade. They can help lower energy costs when planted near windows and they often give children endless hours of play. One of the best things you can do to keep your trees growing and strong for decades is to use mulch.
It is very important to mulch your trees after you have planted them because it’s the best way to protect your trees in the growing season.
Benefits of Proper Mulch. Mulch that is applied properly has several benefits to trees, such as:
Weeds can compete for nutrients the tree needs to grow, but mulch keeps this competition out.
Keeping soil moist
By retaining water, the mulch can provide much needed moisture to the roots.
Insulates tree roots
Mulch helps regulate the soil temperature around the tree, protecting it from extremes of both hot and cold.
Keeps soil looser
If soil gets packed down, it can suffocate the tree roots and ultimately kill your tree. Mulch helps prevent the over-packing of soil.
Proper Mulching Method
>> Clear an area around the tree that comes out just short of the tree’s umbrella.
>> Spread compost in the area and allow it time, approximately two weeks, to work its way into the soil.
>> Choose the material you will be using for mulch, such as wood chips, and start spreading the mulch around the area you have previously cleared.*
>> Working outward – continue spreading the mulch around your tree, and then take a rake to evenly smooth the mulch so that it lies flat. Keep it away from touching the trunk.
That is all it takes to add protection to your trees. The mulch will need little upkeep other than occasional raking to keep it looking nice.
*Note: Avoid piling mulch! It is important to leave an inch or two open at the place where the tree roots meet the trunk. If you put the mulch all the way to, or even up tothe trunk, you risk creating an atmosphere that is too moist. This will attract insects, fungus and other harmful organisms to your trees.