The decision to use mulch around trees in your landscaping is a common one, but do you know why it’s such a good idea to use mulch? Using natural materials to protect your trees, young and old, not only makes your yard look tidy, but it contributes to the health of your trees’ roots and their long-term growth. Mulch helps regulate moisture and temperature too.
There are many reasons why mulch around your trees can be a beautiful and practical addition. A great conversation to have with a professional arborist like Mr. Tree Services is about how to incorporate mulch in your yard.
Here are five reasons to get started.
1. Mulch Helps With Temperature Control
When positioned appropriately, the proper amount of mulch can prove beneficial to all of the trees on your property by regulating the ground’s temperature. Mulch provides a protective barrier between the elements aboveground and the tender root systems belowground. When winter temperatures plummet and frost and snow gather on topsoil, mulch can help protect the roots. Even in warmer months, when the sun beats down on the soil, mulch diffuses the heat.
Springtime is an ideal time to put new mulch around your trees because the soil will begin to warm slightly, which will stimulate root growth. Especially important for younger trees, having a steadier temperature encourages healthy and steady growth. When temperatures fluctuate between extremes, trees can go into self-preservation mode, and they won’t prioritize new growth if the weather is too hot or too cold.
2. Mulch Helps With Moisture Regulation
Moisture regulation is related to temperature control and healthy tree growth. When there are major temperature fluctuations, this can dramatically impact the moisture available for healthy growth. When it’s a hot climate, there can be a drought, but mulch retains moisture between rainfall. When it’s cold, the temperature can be regulated so that moisture gets to roots instead of freezing.
Older trees tend to be more resilient. Landscaping with younger trees, however, especially benefits from adequate and regular watering. Watering that prioritizes the widespread root system beneath the soil around the tree is more effective, without drowning the roots. Mulch helps to spread the moisture more widely rather than only at the base of the tree trunk.
When roots are overwatered, it prevents the exchange of oxygen. Heavy rains in the summer or autumn months can be an issue, too, contributing to overwatering, which could result in roots drowning and possibly rotting. Mulch can also lessen the impact of raindrops or hail on the topsoil, which prevents the roots from becoming exposed. Distributing mulch widely around the base of a tree, in about a three-foot diameter and to a depth of around three inches, ensures moisture spreads. Be sure to leave a few inches between the mulch and the trunk of the tree to avoid rotting.
3. Mulch Is a Compostable Resource
Mulch is a natural way to recycle decomposing trees in your own yard. Using your own trees can provide a sustainable and beautiful addition to the health of your young and thriving trees. Rotting and dead trees can be both an eyesore and a hazard. A certified arborist like Mr. Tree can provide advice about how to incorporate mulch around trees in an effective manner. They can also process your trees, transforming them into useful mulch, and teach you how to get the most out of this natural resource.
A compostable resource that comes directly from your own property means that it’s sustainable too. Because it’s natural, it breaks down and releases valuable nutrients into your soil. Note that you shouldn’t use mulch made from trees that suffered from disease or pest infestation.
When mulch around trees is laid out evenly, it can actively benefit your whole yard. Thinly shredded mulch will decompose more quickly and needs to be replenished more often. Pay attention to how deep you pile the mulch, however. When it’s laid too deep, it can encourage rodents and other pests to burrow into the mulch. It can also slow the breakdown and prevent oxygen necessary to contribute to the decomposition process.
4. Mulch Aids in Weed Prevention
Weeds are a pest, but they can be stifled. Mulch is one way to discourage weed growth. While mulch breaks down to nourish the soil, the nourishment goes straight to the roots of the tree.
Mowing can encourage weed growth near your trees too, but mulch weighs down enough of the soil so that smaller, competing plants won’t take root near the root systems. Weeds need sunlight to grow, so when the mulch covers the area, they won’t be able to develop.
One of the many services that Mr. Tree provides is to help care for your wider landscape. It’s not just about trees, but the entire ecosystem. If you are having trouble getting rid of invasive species and weeds that are preventing healthy tree growth, our team of trained arborists can advise you on this.
5. Mulch Contributes to an Aesthetically Pleasing Landscape
How nice is it when you come home from a long day and your yard looks neat and organized? Placing mulch around trees is a practical strategy to promote your trees’ or shrubs’ health, but it also makes your yard looks tidy and naturally beautiful. Mulch can also create a barrier for preventing damage to your trees from lawn mower or string-trimming accidents damaging young tree bark at the base of the trunks. This helps keep your trees looking healthy.
There are many types of mulch that can make your landscaping gorgeous. Depending on your aesthetic needs and preferences, you have the option to choose inorganic or organic. Organic materials add nutrients to your soil and can be more easily accessible, perhaps even in your own yard already. Straw, wood chips, compost, pine needles, or shredded bark are organic options that add natural beauty while offering the practical benefits of nourishing the soil. Inorganic mulches vary from stones and river rocks to rubber pellets.
No matter what stage of landscaping you’re at, Mr. Tree Services is here for your tree care needs. Whether you are landscaping a new build, planning a new look to your yard, or need help with maintenance, our tree professionals can provide you with the services you need. Give us a call today.