We've touched on the topic of mulching before and with spring wanting to show itself early, we thought we should share some DIY tips for mulching around those newly planted trees and even the established ones!
Mulching is popular among arborists because it provides many benefits to your yard and trees. Beyond lending a polished look to your landscaping, proper mulching can also contribute to healthy tree growth. Once applied, it offers extra protection from extreme temperatures and helps to retain moisture, so you don’t have to water as often. Then, as it breaks down, the mulch releases nutrients into the soil that help to feed the tree. Mulching also creates a sort of safe zone around your tree, preventing other plants and weeds from growing too close and competing for nourishment, as well as preventing damage from lawn maintenance tools like lawn mowers and weed whackers.
Even with these incredible benefits, if mulching isn’t done right, it can do more harm than good. Most people go wrong by “volcano mulching,” meaning that they pile their mulch high around the base of the tree, letting it come right up against the trunk and cover the root flare. This literally suffocates the tree, which gets much of its oxygen through its roots. The lack of oxygen can eventually damage the tree beyond repair.
So what is the proper method for applying mulch? There are a few steps:
Clear the area – Before applying mulch, clear away anything growing immediately around the tree trunk. This space can have a radius of several feet, depending on the size of the tree and its root system. A good rule of thumb is to spread the mulch out as far as the tree’s branches reach.
Select a type of mulch – There’s a variety of materials used for mulching, and each offers a different set of advantages and drawbacks. You can talk to a certified arborist for help deciding what kind of mulch is right for you and your tree. Remember that you don’t want mulch to be too fine (it can get compacted and keep water and oxygen out) or too coarse (it can let too much air and water through, failing to insulate or hold moisture for the tree).
Apply mulch – Don’t build a mulch volcano around your tree! Instead, apply an even layer about 2-4 inches deep, leaving space around the trunk so that the root flare is exposed to the open air. Replenish the mulch each year as it breaks down into the soil, always being careful not to let it get too deep or too close to the trunk.
Call your tree service experts today at Southeastern Tree Removal for any questions about the needs of your trees.
Why Hire an Arborist? Ever wondered why you should bother hiring a certified arborist instead of the guy with a chainsaw who knocks on your door and offers to trim your tree? Then did you wonder, what is an arborist, anyway? We have the answers!
What Is an Arborist? A certified arborist is more than just your average tree trimmer. They have years of training and experience in tree care, from proper planting and maintenance to removal of trees. In order to become certified, arborists must work in tree care for at least three years before passing a comprehensive exam, and to stay certified, they are required to continue their education in new tree care practices.
What Can an Arborist Offer You?
Passion – With all that is required to maintain their certification, you can be sure that your arborist truly cares about proper tree care. They have dedicated years to learning how to nurture a tree through all stages of its growth and development.
Knowledge and Experience – A certified arborist knows more than just how to trim a tree. There are many factors that contribute to a tree’s health; the depth at which it is planted, the type of soil it’s planted in, its location on your property, the way it is pruned . . . the list goes on and on. An arborist has studied many different species of trees and shrubs and knows what each one needs to be healthy and strong.
Value – As is true with so many things in life, you get what you pay for with tree care. Although it may seem cheaper up front to let that door-knocker trim your tree, it could cost you in the long run if your tree is not cared for properly. On the other hand, correct tree care can help to prevent expensive problems—like rot and disease in your tree or damage to property caused by falling limbs—which will save you money over time. Your tree, and your investment in it, are better off in the hands of a certified arborist.
You may look at trees in nature and wonder, “Why do the trees on my property need regular care? Can’t I just let them grow as if they were in the forest?” The answer is that trees in the forest often fall or lose branches due to their unchecked growth. Plant a tree next to a home or business, and it becomes much more important to make sure its roots, trunk, and branches are healthy and strong.
In our last blog post we told you the importance of planting trees, but there is more you need to know. Here are a few routine tree care practices that will help your tree grow properly:
Water Your tree needs plenty of water—but not too much. Get online and do some research to find out just how much and how often your species of tree needs to be watered. With just the right amount of hydration, your tree will be able to focus on healthy growth.
Mulch A layer of mulch around your tree can help to insulate it against extreme temperatures, hold water in to help it stay hydrated longer, and keep grass and weeds from getting too close and competing for nutrients. With so many benefits, it’s a good idea not to skip this easy tree care step.
Prune Pruning is the strategic removal of limbs from a tree or shrub. It can make your tree look better, but even more importantly, it can help your tree to grow sturdier, healthier branches. For example, when two limbs branch off from each other in a sort of “V” shape, they create a weak point on the tree that is prone to breaking. Pruning away one of those branches allows the other to receive more nutrients and strengthens it over time. Pruning is as important to your tree as watering, but just like over-watering, over-pruning can be dangerous. Removing too many limbs means removing the leaves that your tree uses to absorb sunlight and create the nourishment that it needs to grow. There are plenty of internet tutorials out there to help you do it yourself, but make sure you take care to prune as little as you can to still get the job done. Figuring out exactly how to care for your specific trees can be intimidating. What if you over-water, or prune too much? Consider a certified arborist like Southeastern Tree Removal to take the guesswork out of it and give your trees exactly the care they need.
Stay tuned for more golden nuggets of tree knowledge!
Trees grow in countless varieties all over the world, and their beauty is undeniable. But if you need more reasons to plant a tree on your property, here are just a few of the benefits they offer.
They’re Good for Your Home Planting your trees in the right places can make a world of difference in the comfort of your home. Trees planted on the west side of the house can protect it from the hot afternoon sun, keeping each room pleasantly cool through the summer. They’ll also soothe your winter woes by blocking icy winds and keeping your home considerably warmer. According to The Arbor Day Foundation, people tend to stay longer in homes with trees, which just goes to show how much happier trees can make a home!
They’re Good for Your Wallet Keeping your house at a naturally more comfortable temperature also means keeping your heat and cooling on a more affordable setting year-round. The Center for Urban Forest Research determined that a properly placed, mature tree could save you as much as 12% on your energy bills! Property values also rise when landscaping includes trees, so when you’re ready to sell and move on, you’ll discover that your trees were a worthwhile investment.
They’re Good for the Environment There’s a reason people plant trees on Earth Day—they’re just good for the environment! In addition to helping you use less energy in your home, they also absorb pollution and release tons of oxygen into the environment each year. Trees are also vital to the quality of our water. They create a natural barrier for runoff and erosion of soil, keeping groundwater and streams clear of pollutants. No matter who you are, trees are sure to have an impact on your life. So if you’re still on the fence about whether to plant, here’s our advice: the world can always use more trees!
See the statistics for yourself and go plant a tree!