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

Essential Tree Care Tips to Get Your Spring Started

Be sure you know exactly how to manage your landscaping trees this spring with these vital tree care reminders!

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

Critical Root Zone (CRZ)

The critical root zone of a tree is also referred to as a “tree protection zone.” Essentially, it is an invisible or imaginary circle that runs along or just outside the dripline of a tree. This area is important to a tree because it is where the most critical tree roots are located beneath the ground. That is why it is also called a “protection” zone. These are the roots that require the most protection and care. Adequate mulching is an effective method for protecting your tree’s critical root zone. In fact, in terms of tree health, mulch is just as important as fertilizer and water.

Watering

One of the most important parts of taking care of your trees is to make sure they have adequate water. This is especially true for newly planted trees and young trees. After a tree is planted, it is important to water it immediately, then continue watering it regularly over the next two years. Mature trees only require watering during periods of drought, when the soil feels dry to the touch. Keep in mind that too much water can be just as harmful. So, it is important to use just the right amount to keep your trees in good health. To check, use your garden trowel to penetrate the soil 4 to 6 inches deep, then pry the soil back and feel the dampness of the soil.

Mulching

Laying mulch around the base of your trees is a highly effective method of supporting healthy growth and prolonging their life. Although you do not need to re-mulch every week, it is important to check on your mulch beds every day to ensure they are still doing their job. Mulch helps retain moisture and block out excess heat and UV exposure. This helps to keep a tree in good health. If the mulch seems low, put down another layer. Apply new mulch entirely, every year. The rule of thumb when it comes to proper mulching is to keep layers between 2 and 4 inches deep, and at least 6 inches from the base of the trunk.

Staking

See our recent blog, “How to Prepare Your Trees for Spring Weather Conditions” to learn all your options for staking a tree. From there, you can better determine which type of supplementary structural support or protection your landscaping trees need to survive the season. Common industry methods include cabling and bracing, propping, guying, and of course, staking. Talk to your local tree care specialist about tree staking methods and advice when in doubt. They have the tools, training, and knowledge to guide you in the direction of healthy tree care.  

Fertilizing

Tree fertilization helps to make up for any nutrient deficiencies that might be at play. It provides added nutrients, which in turn help a tree grow strong and healthy, and thus, live much longer. Not only does this help a tree look beautiful and deep in color, it gives the tree durability and an increased resistance to inclement weather, disease, pests, nuisance wildlife, and other forms of environmental bearings.

Trimming and Pruning

One of the most important tree services you can outsource for your landscape is pruning. Not only does pruning promote healthy growth, it also encourages flowering and fruit production, making prettier and more profitable trees. In addition to pruning, tree trimming is a highly beneficial, and often times quite necessary, tree service that is something to consider for your property. Tree trimming helps control overgrown limbs and canopies that can pose potential dangers and obstructions.

Professional Tree Care Service for Indianapolis

Call Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for prompt and professional Indianapolis tree service you can trust. We are experienced tree care technicians that can resolve your tree problems, regardless of your projects size or scope. We offer a wide range of tree removal and tree services, for both residential and commercial properties. We even offer free estimates and free tree care advice!

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