Why Mulch Around Trees is More Important Than You Thought!

Dawn KruegerCare for New Trees, Moisture Control

mulch around trees

When most people think of mulch, it is usually in regards to a mulched flower bed. They might not think about adding mulch around trees specifically. However, mulching around trees is one of the easiest and best things you can do to help young and transplanted trees secure new footings. Here are some things to keep in mind when adding mulch around trees on your property.

Tree Mulch is Important

Did you know how important mulch is to trees? More so than you probably think! Tree mulch holds valuable moisture and fertilization. Friends of Trees writer Andrew Land stated:

For people, nutrients are either fat or water-soluble, but trees get all that they need from water. Mulches both hold that moisture for trees’ use and are arguably the best way to fertilize a young tree by providing slow-release nutrition that leaches down to the roots below with rain.Andrew Land, Author of Friends of Trees

Adding mulch around trees also helps insulate the soil and it adds a buffer from both heat AND cold temperatures (especially here in Wisconsin!). Adding 2-4 inches of mulch will help protect your trees roots from extreme temperatures year round.

Tree mulch also reduces soil compaction, weed growth and potential lawn mower damage. So there are several good reasons to add mulch around trees that are both existing and newly planted.


Choose a Quality Mulch

As with most things, natural and organic options are best. We recommend choosing a mulch that is produced from the wood in your area. At M&M Tree Care, our mulch is produced from our Milwaukee area tree pruning operations. We believe that nothing should be added to the wood to help preservation. The best mulch is as natural as the tree that was cut down. In other words, we believe no dyes or stains should be added.

How to Best Apply Mulch Around Trees

Depending upon the size of your tree, we recommend clearing grass from a 3-10 foot area for mulch. It’s best to dig up existing grass rather than using a chemical grass killer. After creating a clean edge border, install a natural mulch product 2-4 inches deep. Using more mulch can cause problems like decay that will kill the tree or make it unstable.

It’s also important to keep the mulch from being piled on the tree trunk. Too much mulch covering the root ball of a newly planted tree or mulch piled on the tree trunk can cause roots to grow there and girdle the trunk (essentially choking the tree). So spread the mulch thinner around the trunk or contact a pro to do it for you.

Leave it to the Tree Care Professionals

If you want to be sure your trees have a long healthy life, have a tree care professional apply mulch around trees for you. The cost is minimal and the payback is great. This is the best way to ensure you don’t accidentally cause more harm than good.

M&M Tree Care has been proudly serving the Milwaukee area since 1968 and we have six ISA certified arborists on staff. We offer a variety of tree care services and include free estimates, so you have nothing to lose in contacting us today!

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