|Not every tree needs mulch, but some love it!|
Mulching consists of a few simple steps. Clear the grass around the tree, out to the end of the farthest protruding branches if the situation permits - the root system of the tree extends beyond just the base! You should then cover this cleared area around the tree with two to four inches of loosely arranged organic matter such as shredded leaves or natural compost.
Plastic and other un-compostable materials can interfere with the exchange of gases between the soil and air, as well as the transfer of water and should not be used. Take care to leave about two inches of space around the base that is free of mulch - if material is placed too close to the trunk, it will adversely affect health by encouraging decay.
What Else is Mulch Used For?
Mulch helps to insulate the soil, protecting it from harsh weather conditions that vary from extreme temperatures while keeping the roots moist even when the soil is abnormally dry. This practice helps to prevent weeds that can act as competition against the trees roots. Proper technique also allows homeowners to avoid mechanical damage that can occur during lawn maintenance. The soil will benefit due to less traffic, decreasing the effect of soil compaction while providing more oxygen - allowing water to flow effortlessly through the soil surrounding the tree.
Mulch is not necessary for every species or in every climate, so make sure to contact a tree service professional if there is any doubt! Better safe than sorry!