Ok it may not be the biggest question that you have this year but it should be given some thought! Mulching is a way to save the soil around your trees and offer more nutrients and growth to the trees themselves. This can be a DIY project for homeowners that want the health of their trees to remain in great condition. Mulch is a product that can be found in 2 different types.
Organic vs Inorganic Mulch
Organic mulch is made from something that was once living; pine needles, bark, leaves and wood chips. It will decompose over time and can even add some nutrients back into the soil as it does, improving the soil structure and quality. You can also get inorganic mulch made of materials that were never alive; usually consisting of pulverized stone or lava rock, black plastic and rubber. Both types are used for aesthetic reasons but at Milam’s Tree Service, we believe the benefits provided by natural organic mulch far outweigh the use of inorganic types that never break down and therefore do not improve soil quality. Inorganic mulch can increase heat and dryness around your trees and some types such as black plastic do not even let air and water reach the soil around your trees! If you want mulch solely for aesthetic reasons, Milam’s Tree Service offers mulch in red, brown and black colors to match any décor.
Organic Mulch Benefits
There are many benefits of having organic mulch around your trees. Mulch:
– conserves soil moisture by reducing water lost through evaporation.
– minimizes soil erosion
– moderates soil temperatures
– protects the area from harsh weather conditions; whether high sun and heat or cold, frigid temperatures
– inhibiting growth of weeds to grow around your trees. Not only are weeds an eyesore but they also take some water and nutrients away from the tree
– encourages the growth of beneficial soil microorganisms
– eliminates the need for mowing around trees which can cause mechanical injury to tree trunks
Proper Mulch Techniques
It may seem like a no brainer adding mulch around a tree, but making sure that you use proper techniques will help your tree have the best chance to grow and flourish. Start by making sure the area around the tree is clear of any unwanted debris and large rocks. You also want to be sure that any weeds and other growth is pulled up before starting. After you have done that, make sure that you don’t over mulch the area. This can actually cause adverse effects. Using too much mulch can cause excess water to remain in the soil and possibly drown out the plant or tree. Follow these few easy steps when you ready to add the mulch:
1. It is best to apply mulch shortly after purchase or delivery. If that is not convenient, cover the mulch with a tarp or plastic to keep dry until you are ready to use it.
2. Check for proper water drainage by knowing which way the water will go.
3. Add only 2 to 4 inches of mulch around the base of the tree.
4. Make sure that the base of the tree has about a 1 inch space so you don’t stress the tree out.