In addition to looking great, mulching around trees and shrubs has many benefits.

According to the Morton Arboretum, mulching protects the base of a planting, and it roots, from lawnmower damage. And adding mulch to a landscape is always beneficial to the soil beneath, keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Which, in turn, makes that soil a more hospitable place for the worms and insects that create rich, dynamic soil.

However, there is a right way and a wrong way to mulch around trees and shrubs.

First, layer anywhere from 3 to 4 inches of mulch. Then, and this is important, pull the mulch away from the base 2 to 3 inches, creating a donut hole of space.

Layer the mulch out to at least the “drip edge” of the branches, while keeping in mind that the widest area of mulch is the most beneficial.

What not to do: Don’t pile the mulch up like a hill around the base (we’ve all seen this!). These piles of mulch create a less hospitable environment for the plant and ideal conditions for excess moisture, disease, decay—and a perfect home for pests.

If you have questions about mulch, contact us.