Proper mulching is a tremendous benefit to trees and shrubs – if done properly. If done improperly it is often a death sentence. Take a look at these photos below:
Right Way: Volcano Mulching
Always use organic mulch such as woodchips, mushroom compost or shredded bark. Mulching with these materials will help keep weeds down, help retain soil moisture and keeps the root base cool in summer. Be careful to keep the mulch 3″ to 6″ away from the ‘above ground’ bark. It is o.k. to then build up your mulch as you approach the outside of the mulch circle. The bigger the mulch circle, the better. Monitor your trees and shrubs throughout the summer. If the mulch begins to shift back toward the trunk, pull it away.
Wrong Way: Pyramid Mulching
There is one mulching practice that far too often ends up killing many trees and shrubs. We refer to it as ‘Pyramid Mulching’. Surely you must have seen this practice of piling mulch as high as eighteen inches against the base of a tree. Piling even as little as 1″ of mulch on the base of any sized tree trunk or shrubs could, and often does, eventually kill them.