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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
Mulching
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Proper Mulching Technique


Everyone has gardening pet peeves right? For some it's the use of dyed mulch, for others it's the use of bright white stone mulch. Improper mulching technique, specifically mulch volcanoes may just be one of mine. Mulch volcanoes are the improper placement of mulch around trees so that it literally resembles a volcano.

What's wrong with that may you ask? This thick layer of mulch next to the tree's trunk will keep the area around the tree trunk considerably more moist, thus causing rotting and disease problems to occur.

The first picture on the top of this post shows one such mulch volcano (photo courtesy of Trees Forever)- the mulch is too thick and piled around the base of the tree. With this comes the potential to cause trunk rot and roots to grow into the mulch and girdle the tree.

Good mulch is spread wide around the tree, not too thick (2-4 inches), and pulled away from the base of the tree. It should resemble a donut shape, rather than a volcano. Follow these practices and you'll be well on your way to a healthy, happy tree.

Also be careful of putting landscaping near the base of your trees. The previous owners of my home had put a 1 foot raised area of soil around the base of a 25 ft maple tree. Once a large storm came through, because of the likely rotting caused by this moist soil around the base of the tree, it came right out the ground. See photo #2 at the top of this post.

The natural root flare should always be visible at the base of your trees (photo #3).

Now that you can recognize proper mulching, you'll see it everywhere you go. Help spread the word on proper mulching technique. I'm thinking of making 'Resist the mulch volcano' t-shirts to spread the word!

Learn more about proper mulching technique on the Trees are Good website:http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx



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