Video Tutorial: Tips on How to Properly Mulch around a Tree

Today, we are sharing a video from This Old House featuring landscape contractor Roger Cook and certified arborist Matt Foti. They provide a variety of helpful tips on how to properly mulch around a tree.

Proper mulching keeps grass and weeds from growing too close to the tree and retains moisture in the soil around the roots. However, improper mulching can suffocate the tree, ultimately killing it. Therefore, it is essential to know how to correctly place mulch around a tree.

A common mistake Roger and Matt see from landscapers is the creating of a “mulch volcano,” which occurs when mulch is layered on year after year, leading to a mound around the base of the tree which looks much like a mountain or volcano. Upon removing the mulch from one of these “volcanoes,” it is evident that the secondary roots have grown up around the primary roots and even the trunk of the tree in their search for moisture. It is this unwanted root growth that leads to suffocation.

In order to properly mulch around a tree, use enough mulch to cover the roots no more than two inches deep, leaving the primary root flare exposed to the air. This method will ensure that the tree receives all the benefits of mulch without risking suffocation.

Watch this video below for tips

Image Source: This Old House