Written by Brooke Tolman (last updated December 25, 2020)
Simply stated, mulch is a tree's best friend. It safeguards the tree when you cannot. Mulch acts as a sort of sun-block for the tree. It insulates the soil, helps preserve soil moisture, slows the process of evaporation, prevents lawn mower damage, and protects the roots from overheating. Not only does it help to keep your tree healthy but it makes your life easier. Hate to weed? Lay down mulch! With a nice thick layer of mulch you deprive the weed seeds of sunlight so they can't grow. Not only that but weeds need dirt to grow in, so when weed seeds fall to the ground around your tree, they won't be able to make it to the dirt underneath the mulch in order to grow.
Mulches come in all different types, each one with its strengths and weaknesses. Organic mulches nourish your trees by slowly decomposing. The best types of organic mulch are shredded bark, pine needles, straw, chopped leaves, and compost. When planting a tree, shredded or chipped bark will be your best choice. It doesn't break down as easily as most of the others, which means you won't have to remulch as often.
Mulching is a rather easy process for such a big reward. Here are the steps of how to mulch:
So get out there and mulch your trees. It not only protects your tree, but it's great for the environment and makes gardening less work for you.
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