It’s very common for people to put mulch around the base of their trees. A lot of times you’ll see this around smaller ornamental trees, but every now and then you may also see mulch placed around the base of larger trees. What’s the purpose of mulching around trees though? Adding a mulch ring around the base of a tree in most cases adds an extra element of appeal, but are there any other benefits to this? Actually, there is! Adding a layer of mulch around the base of a tree provides a number of benefits to trees.

Benefits of Mulch Around Trees

For one, a solid layer of mulch placed around the base of a tree helps the soil underneath retain moisture for longer periods of time, allowing the tree to go an extended period of time between waterings. This is especially beneficial down here in the south where the summers are long, hot, and dry. Another benefit of mulch around trees is that over time, the mulch slowly decomposes into fine organic matter which helps create a healthy surface soil layer. Having soil high in organic matter is vital to the health of trees in most cases. Yet another benefit of placing mulch around trees is that it reduces the likelihood of tree trunks being damaged by string trimmers and other types of lawn equipment.

Although mulch can provide a tree with benefits, there’s a few rules you should follow when mulching around trees. The first is that you should be cautious not to place down a layer that is too thin or too thick. It’s generally recommended that when mulching around trees, you place down a layer that is 3 to 4 inches thick. You should also be careful not to pile up mulch thicker around the trunk of the tree. This is called “volcano mulching” and makes your tree more susceptible to attack by pathogens and disease. Instead, spread the mulch around the base of the tree evenly, extending out as close to the edge of the tree’s drip line as possible.

There’s a lot of benefit to mulching around trees! If you’ve got a tree in your yard that you have a soft spot for, and you’re looking for ways to keep it happy and healthy, adding mulch around the base is definitely worth considering! Interested in learning more about mulching around trees or tree fertilization?