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  • Writer's pictureKelly Robinson

Why do we mulch trees?


Expert tree planting in Denver, Colorado
Colorado Premier Tree Care recommends tree rings

Mulching a tree is an important aspect of tree care that can have numerous benefits for both the tree and the soil. Mulch is a layer of organic material such as leaves, bark, or wood chips that is applied to the soil around a tree. It serves as a protective blanket for the tree's roots, helping to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and add valuable nutrients to the soil.

One of the main benefits of mulching a tree is that it helps to retain moisture in the soil. This is especially important in regions with hot, dry summers, such as Colorado, where water can quickly evaporate from the soil surface. Mulch acts as an insulator, helping to keep the soil cool and moist, which can help to reduce the amount of water needed to keep the tree hydrated.

Another benefit of mulching a tree is that it can suppress weeds. Weeds compete with trees for water and nutrients, which can weaken the tree over time. By applying a layer of mulch, weeds are prevented from growing, which can help to reduce the amount of time and effort needed to keep the area around the tree weed-free.

Mulching a tree can also add valuable nutrients to the soil. As the mulch decomposes, it releases nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which can be taken up by the tree's roots. This can help to promote healthy growth and improve the overall health of the tree.

Building a mulch ring around a tree is simple and easy for homeowners to do. The first step is to clear away any grass or weeds around the base of the tree. Next, use a garden fork or trowel to loosen the soil around the tree's roots. Then, spread a 2-4 inches layer of mulch material around the base of the tree, being careful not to pile it up against the trunk. It is important to keep the mulch away from the base of the tree to prevent decay and fungal diseases.

It's important to note that mulching a tree should be done with care. Over-mulching can cause issues such as root rot, fungal disease and insect infestation. It is important to use organic mulch, and not to pile it up too deep, or too close to the trunk. It is also important to keep the mulch ring refreshed and replenished as needed.

A good rule of thumb when examning the base of a tree is this: If you take a hand trowel and dig some spoil and mulch up and you don't find any worms or soil critters...thats not a good sign. You want this soil to be moist and rich in biotic components...these in the industry are called indicators. Meaning if you see them thats an indication you have happy soil for your tree!

Mulching a tree is an important aspect of tree care that can have numerous benefits for both the tree and the soil. It helps to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and add valuable nutrients to the soil. Building a mulch ring around a tree is simple and easy for homeowners to do, but it should be done with care, using organic material and not piling it up too deep or close to the trunk. By mulching a tree, homeowners can help to promote healthy growth and improve the overall health of their trees.

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