November 2023 – Winter is fast approaching and replenishing the mulch around our trees ahead of winter is good practice, to ensure its continuing benefits. Mulching adds nutrition to the soil, helps aerate it, regulates its temperature, holds in moisture, and discourages weeds and fungal growth. And, in the autumn, it also has the benefit of insulating the roots from the cold, snowy months ahead.
Unfortunately, many people do not know how to mulch correctly and doing it right is important because the features of mulch that protect a tree can also damage it, when done incorrectly. The most common error is forming a thick mulch “volcano” around the tree base (a practice that is unfortunately all too common in public boulevards and parks), instead of the correct flat “donut” structure. The “donut” structure provides “breathing space” between the bark and the mulch whereas the “volcano” structure leaches nutrients too close to the tree, encouraging the growth of small, vulnerable roots in the mulch above the soil surface, and also keeps the bark it touches moist and warm making it susceptible to rot and fungal growth. These effects over time, are detrimental to the health of the tree.
If you want to learn more about how to mulch your trees correctly, check out our quick “Mulching 101” guide here!