Whether you care for your trees yourself, or have a landscaping service handle things for you, it’s important to take care how you use mulch around your trees’ root flare. The problem is that the roots that are just above ground (the “root ball”) actually need to breathe. Many untrained lawn and yard care services get carried away with mulch around the base of your trees, piling up mulch so high it covers the root ball.
If you see mulch piled up around a tree trunk, so much that you can’t see some of the primary roots beginning to go underground, you probably have too much mulch built up. A tell tale sign of a serious problem is if some bark begins to strip away from the trunk not far above ground – two or three feet.
Some mulch, of course, is valuable. It helps retain moisture in the summer, protect the roots from cold in the winter, and helps prevent weeds from encroaching on the tree itself.
For a quick look at how mulch should be built up properly around the trunk of a tree, check out this video from the popular TV show, This Old House. Good tips!