Q. Is mulch good for trees?
Here at the Garden we absolutely do mulch around trees. Mulch provides a number of benefits. It helps retain soil moisture, keeps weeds in check, helps to prevent erosion, and can improve the soil structure over time. We have seen a lot of benefits from mulching--the trees seem to do better. But we do NOT push the mulch up around the bark, just to the base of the tree with minimal contact.
Many landscape companies not only mulch around trees, but also push the mulch up into a mound or "volcano" around the tree trunk. This is terrible for the tree because the bark is not designed to be covered. When the mulch, which is often moist, comes into contact with the bark for long periods of time, it creates a more favorable environment for insects and diseases to attack the tree. These insects and diseases would not normally be in such close contact with the bark for such a long time.
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- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service