Bad Tree Mulching Practices to Avoid This Fall

Good tree mulching is easy to achieve. Mulch beds for trees should be wide, deep, and kept at the right moisture level throughout the season. That’s right; trees still need water in the Fall and Winter. But many homeowners fall victim to tree mulching errors this time of year, causing them a slow onset of disappointment come spring since poor mulching can result in tree decline and even death.

Continue reading to learn some of the most common bad tree mulching practices in Fall and how to avoid them.

Tree Care Services Indianapolis Indiana 317-783-2518
Tree Care Services Indianapolis Indiana 317-783-2518

Good Tree Mulching

As mentioned, good tree mulching in Fall means making your mulch beds wide enough and deep enough. Tree mulch beds should be at least 3 feet wide and anywhere from 2 to 4 inches deep. These are the “Goldilocks” dimensions for tree mulch beds. Your mulch beds help retain moisture in the tree roots, but they can dry out themselves, so be sure to continue watering your trees during times of drought.

What Bad Tree Mulching Looks Like

The most common tree mulching errors made by homeowners include mulching too high and narrow, using the incorrect type of mulch, letting mulch go sour, and adding more mulching onto of old mulch. These are the bad tree mulching practices you want to avoid this Fall.

Mulch Pyramids

A common mulching mistake is to create a mulch bed that is too high up on the tree trunk and too narrow. This formation looks like a pyramid or volcano. This traps moisture on the tree trunk and roots, which can lead to rot.

Wrong Mulch

When mulching trees, it is important to use a compatible product. A common tree mulching mistake is using mulch that is too fine. Trees need to retain moisture throughout the Fall season, and delicate or finely manufactured mulch can become impermeable and block off water and air.

Sour Mulch

Another big tree mulching mistake you want to avoid this Fall is letting your mulch turn toxic. Mulch can become compacted for many reasons, such as using too fine of a mulch. When it does, air and water are not able to penetrate, causing the mulch to go sour as a result of low oxygen levels. Furthermore, the souring process produces methanol and acetic acid, which are harmful to soil-sharing plants.  

Topping Off Old Mulch With New Mulch

A very common bad mulching practice is to top off old mulch beds with new mulch, without first removing the old mulch. Mulch does not fully decompose, so it is necessary to break up the old mulch with a rake before adding new mulch in the Fall and Spring.

Are you looking for a helpful tree care company to improve the look and quality of your landscaping trees? Contact Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for professional tree services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve residential and commercial clients with comprehensive tree care solutions.

Related Posts:

Do Trees Need Care in the Fall?
How to Mulch Around a Tree
Facts About Over-Watering and Under-Watering Trees

Indianapolis Tree Care 317-783-2518
Indianapolis Tree Care 317-783-2518

How to Mulch Around a Tree

Did you know that mulching is one of the most effective and beneficial method of tree care? In fact, properly mulching your landscaping trees can promote healthier, longer-lasting trees. Continue reading to learn the correct method of laying mulch around your landscaping trees, and where you can get affordable help with Indianapolis tree care near you.

Tree Care Services Indianapolis Indiana
Tree Care Services Indianapolis Indiana 317-783-2518

Spring is the Right Time to Re-Mulch Trees

When applied improperly, mulch can have negative effects on a tree’s health. For this reason, proper mulching methods are important, and should be practiced every spring. And since spring is here, it is time to start thinking about your seasonal tree care needs, including new mulch! Just a quick note, but mulching is not just a spring tree care task; it is also important to mulch your trees in the winter too! Get started in the Spring as soon as the ground has fully thawed. In the fall, you will wait until temperatures are pre-freezing, and then lay your mulch before the first winter front arrives.

Professional-Level Tree Mulching Advice

When it comes to mulching your trees, it is recommended to use organic mulch. Although inorganic mulch is tempting since it doesn’t need to be replenished as often, the benefits derived from organic materials and decomposition outweigh the benefits of using inorganic mulch. In fact, most arborists prefer to use an organic product.

When mulching your trees, keep in mind that using too much can actually be detrimental. Over-mulching can lead to tree stress, excessive ground moisture, root rot, tree and bark diseases, insect and rodent infestations, tree girdling, reduced air penetration, unbalanced soil pH, and more. To be safe, keep mulch depths between 2 and 4 inches.

Be sure to check the project area for adequate water drainage before applying mulch. If the water drainage is poor, then too much mulch may lead to many of the above-mentioned tree problems. Try using less mulch for areas with inadequate drainage.

Before applying new mulch over existing mulch, first measure the depth to prevent over-mulching. If the depth is still 2 to 4 inches, do not apply new mulch. Instead, use a rake to release the top matted layers and refresh the look of the mulch. If faded, visit your local gardening store for a spray-on, water-soluble, vegetable-based dye to brighten up the color. Also, be sure to also spread out any piles that may have built-up against the tree trunk. The base of the tree should be exposed.

Do you need professional Indianapolis tree care or tree assistance? Contact Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for Indianapolis Indiana tree services you can trust. We serve residential and commercial clients.

You Should Also Read:

The Common Process of Tree Fertilization
Get Spring Tree Service Deals in Indianapolis at Complete Tree Care
How to Prepare Your Trees for Spring Weather Conditions

Indianapolis Tree Care 317-783-2518
Indianapolis Tree Care 317-783-2518