Caring for Your Trees

Tree Mulching: Benefits And Tips

Mulching is the application of materials around the base of a tree. Below are some of the reasons for mulching and tips on how to get it right.


Mulch has numerous benefits; here are just a few of them.

Ground Insulation

Tree roots are susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures. For example, the roots won't absorb water as usual if the ground is frozen. Mulching insulates the ground and reduces the effect of the air temperature on the ground.

Water Retention

Mulch also helps retain water in the ground by minimizing evaporation. This helps trees absorb water even when rainfall or watering is minimal.

Erosion Prevention

Soil erosion washes away soil nutrients and exposes tree roots. Mulch reduces the velocity of running water to reduce erosion.

Improved Fertility

Some of the nutrients in organic mulch enter the soil as the material decomposes. This enriches the soil and encourages healthy tree growth.

Impedes Weed Growth

Weeds compete with trees for soil and nutrients. Mulch stifles weed growth and allows the trees to absorb all the water and nutrients available.

Reduces Soil Compaction

Compacted soil is bad for tree health since it prevents water penetration and also drives air out of the soil. Proper mulching prevents soil compaction.

Tips for Proper Mulching

Your trees will only benefit from mulching if you go about it the right way. Below are three main tips for proper mulching.

Use the Right Material

Not every material should go to the base of a tree in the name of mulching. You need a material that won't harm the tree, will form a good ground cover, and won't harm the environment. It's even better if the material is organic and can add nutrients to the soil. Examples of good mulch materials include sawdust, animal manure, shredded leaves, and straw, among others. 

Apply the Right Amount

Too little mulch won't do your trees much good; too much mulch can stifle tree growth. The right amount of much covers the entire base of the tree up to the limits of the trees canopy. As for depth, anything from one to six inches may suffice depending on various factors such as mulch material, soil type, drainage, and tree size, among others.

Carve Out the Trunk

Applying mulch against the trunk of a tree is not a good idea, especially organic mulch. The materials will attract pests that might attack the tree's trunk. The materials can also keep the trunk moist all the time and encourage rotting.

To learn more about other residential tree care services, contact your local tree service company.