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How to Mulch Around Trees the Right Way in Your Texarkana, AR, Home

Adding mulch around the trees on your property does more than add curb appeal. The right mulch, when applied the correct way, can help keep your trees healthy by supporting an ideal growing environment for the tree’s roots. 

Many homeowners aren’t sure how to mulch around trees the right way, though. Here, Hawkins Tree and Landscaping, the source for tree care and expert land clearing in Texarkana, explains what to do. 

how to mulch around trees

How Mulch Benefits Trees and Why Proper Application is Critical 

Even when you live in a quiet suburb, the growing conditions in your yard may not be ideal to support optimum tree health. Proper mulching helps reduce the stress on the tree and improves the environment so it grows strong and healthy. 

For example, mulch helps block weeds, insulate the roots from extreme temperatures, supports soil aeration and drainage, and protects the tree trunk from damage from lawn equipment. It is also critical to maintaining soil moisture around the tree roots, as it helps prevent evaporation and prevents the soil from drying out.

Unfortunately, some homeowners do more harm than good because they don’t know how to mulch around trees correctly. They apply the wrong kind of mulch, put too much or too little around the tree, or put it too close to the tree, limiting its ability to help the soil retain moisture or even creating the risk for disease. 

Tips for Mulching Trees Correctly 

Correctly mulching trees is not complicated. The first step is choosing the right mulch: organic or inorganic.

Organic mulch consists of plant-based materials, like wood chips, bark, or pine needles. These products decompose and help nourish the soil, but decomposition also means they need more frequent replenishment. Avoid grass clippings, which decompose quickly.

Inorganic mulch can be stone, rubber, gravel, or other materials that don’t decompose. While this means you don’t need to replenish the mulch as often, it won’t nourish the soil, either. However, inorganic mulch does offer the same protection, moisture retention, and insulation benefits. 

Once you select the mulch, putting it around the trees correctly is easy. Simply spread a thin, two-to-three-inch layer of your chosen ground covers around the trees, extending out to the drip line. If that’s not possible or practical, mulch three feet around small trees, eight feet around medium trees, and 12 feet around large trees.

If you already have mulch, don’t put the new layer on top of it. Wait for that layer to break down before putting new materials on top. The thicker the mulch layer, the more moisture it will retain, and it will actually deprive the tree roots of water. Deep mulch can suffocate the roots, too, potentially killing the tree. 

In fact, one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when mulching around trees is creating mulch volcanoes, or piling the material against the tree trunk. This creates an excessively moist environment that can lead to fungus, rot, and disease that harm the tree. 

To prevent this, make sure to leave at least two to three inches of space between the tree trunk and the mulch ring. 

Contact the Local Tree Care Experts of Hawkins Tree and Landscaping for Help 

If you have questions about tree care, how to mulch around trees correctly, or want to know how far can a tree lean before it falls, reach out to Hawkins Tree and Landscaping for answers. Our team of professionals will help you maintain healthy, beautiful trees on your Texarkana, AR, property. Dial (870) 330-9912 to speak with an arborist and schedule service today. 

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