Is Mulch Around a Tree Bad?

You should give your trees extra loving care to keep them growing healthy and beautiful. This includes ensuring proper mulching. Since performing this task can seem daunting, you might find yourself asking, “Is mulch around a tree bad?”

In this article, Chapel Hill’s professional tree service company explores the good and the bad of applying mulch around your trees. 

is mulch around a tree bad

What’s the Deal With Mulch Around Trees?

You’ll find many reasons to apply mulch around your tree:

Mulch Reduces Soil Moisture Loss

The soil around your tree must retain moisture. This becomes particularly important in the tree’s early stages of growth. 

Applying mulch around the tree can help to prevent moisture loss as it protects the soil against direct sunlight. In addition, mulch helps hold water, allowing the soil to absorb more. 

Mulching Regulates Root Temperature 

Mulch helps keep your tree’s roots at the ideal temperature. It serves as the trees’ constant insulator, ensuring the soil stays cool in summer and warm in winter. For the best results, you should use organic, coarse mulch instead of processed or inorganic mulches like plastics or fabrics. 

Mulching Prevents Soil Erosion

Mulch also does a great job of preventing soil erosion. If you can see your tree’s roots, the culprit is often soil erosion by rain, wind, and settling. Mulching can save you this problem, keeping your tree roots safe and preventing falling. 

Mulching Controls Weed Growth

When you apply mulch, many seeds will have a hard time germinating since they don’t get sufficient light. To effectively control weed growth, you should use thicker, coarser organic mulch instead of finer options like compost.

Mulching Reduces Risk of Disease

Mulch encourages the growth of beneficial fungi. Such fungi can suppress disease and prevent pathogens. This way, your backyard trees will be less prone to diseases. 

Mulch also acts as an obstacle for disease-carrying pests. This helps prevent the spread of diseases to your trees. 

Mulching Protects Against Weather Damage

Mulch can safeguard your tree’s roots against direct weather damage. Simply apply a few inches of mulch over the roots to protect them from cold, heat, or sun exposure. This way, the tree’s roots will remain safe and healthy.

The Downsides of Mulching a Tree?

Is mulch around a tree bad? The answer can be yes due to improper mulching. Consider some of the ways mulch can affect your trees:

  • Water damage. Mulch sometimes retains excess water, and the soggy soil can compromise the health of your tree’s roots. 
  • Pest damage. Volcano mulching or applying too much mulch around the tree trunk can attract harmful pests like bark beetles, termites, and borers that cause trunk damage. 
  • Incorrect Temperature. Too much mulch can lead to the soil getting too hot, and this isn’t good for the roots. 

Talk to the Experts for Help

Is much around a tree bad? This will depend on how you do it, but the experts at J&D Tree Pros can help you do it correctly. Contact us at (919) 467-7997 for your free estimate or to learn how to keep trees healthy in Chapel Hill, NC, today!

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