We’re in the heart of summer now and it can get a bit dry out there. One easy way to cut down on the cost of watering your trees is by mulching them. This layer of organic matter helps create a healthy, attractive yard that requires less water and weeding!

Why should you mulch trees?

mulch1Mulching trees provides numerous benefits by helping to:

  • Improve overall tree health and soil conditions
  • Provide needed nutrients
  • Conserve water by reducing moisture loss
  • Suppress the growth of weeds
  • Protect the tree’s roots from extreme temperature changes through insulation
  • Reduce the likelihood of certain pests/diseases
  • Protect the tree trunk from mechanical damage

How much is too much?

In order to get the full benefits of mulching, you want to have a mulching depth of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimetres). Too much mulch can lead to excessive moisture at the roots, nutrient deficiencies, fluctuating moisture, girdling roots and encourage pests and rodents. Often this happens over time, so be sure to check the mulch depth each time.

 

How to mulch:

Mulching a tree for the first time?

Put a 5 to 10 cm layer of mulch around the base of the tree leaving space to expose the trunk. When mulch is piled against the trunk it may negatively impact the health of the tree.

MulchTrees1

 

What do I do if I am re-mulching?

If mulch is present around your tree, be sure to check the depth. If it is already 5 to 10 cm deep, work on improving the mulch that is there by breaking up any large pieces with a shovel. This is also a great time to make sure the trunk is exposed and the mulch hasn’t piled up against it. If this is the case, clear the mulch back approximately 10 cm from the base.

 

This article, courtesy of Councillor Sean Chu, was published in part in the August edition of the Northern Edge News.

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