How to Mulch Around Trees


Mulching around trees can help to maintain the moisture and reduce the amount of watering you'll need to do. Mulch also helps to control weeds, keep the heat in during the winter and keep the soil cooler in the summer.

  • Decide whether you want to use organic mulch such as wood chips, pine needles, leaves or compost mixes or inorganic mulch like stones, lava rocks or rubber chips. Organic materials help the soil, but depending on how fast they decompose, require replenishing. Inorganic materials don't improve the soil and don't require replenishing.

  • Ask your local garden center what mulch should be used around the plants the mulch will be placed near. Certain mulches are better for particular plants.

  • Edge around the area you intend to mulch to create a defined and clean look. This step isn't necessary for the health of the tree but helps with the look for the landscaping.

  • Place a layer of landscape fabric over heavily weeded areas to help control the weed growth.

  • Spread the mulch 2- to 4-inches deep and keep it away from the trunk of the tree.

Tips & Warnings

  • Too much mulch can kill the trees by suffocating the roots. You may think it looks better, but remember what it will look like when the tree is dead.
  • Putting mulch right next to the base of the tree can kill the tree. Mulch touching the base of a tree can deprive it from oxygen, cause it to get a fungal disease.
  • Organic mulch provides the best nutrients for the tree.

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