Most homeowners underestimate the importance of mulch and what it can do for not only their landscape, but their trees as well. The way you use it in your landscaping can either be helpful or harmful to your plants. It’s important to know the right and wrong ways to go about it!
First of all, you need to understand why we use mulch in our gardens and around trees that we are trying to keep up with.
Mulch is essential to many trees’ health. It helps the soil to keep the root-level temperature constant throughout different seasons. It actually insulates the tree’s roots during the winter. This allows the roots and soil to stay warmer than what they would be able to without mulch.
Mulch can also help with keeping any water in that has fallen around the tree. Newly planted trees need ample opportunity for water and nutrients. Using mulch is a great way to do all of this because it keeps any rain water or hose water within the reach of the roots of the tree.
Another great aspect of mulch is to actually provide a good, natural defense for the tree. You many be thinking, “what does the tree need to be defended from”? Well, there are actually MANY things that can attack and harm trees. This includes insects, too much sun exposure, weather elements, natural disasters and weeds.
Whenever you mulch around a particular tree, you are helping it keep weeds out from around the soil where the tree’s roots are growing. Having weeds in the soil where a tree is trying to grow can restrict the tree’s growth and ultimate hurt the health of the tree. This can be very harmful to the tree and any surrounding foliage that you are wanting to grow as well.
Another thing that your tree may need defense from is man-made dangers such as landscaping and lawn mowers. Now, most landscapers and lawn mowers have the best of intentions. However, lawn mowers can severely damage trees by running over and cutting roots as they are trying to grow.
In many cases, roots can become exposed above ground, and in that case, they are more susceptible to all of the dangers previously mentioned such as weather, lawn mowers, insects, etc. Tree service experts will be able to tell you when mulch is needed!