How to Mulch Your Landscape the Right Way

How to Mulch Your Landscape the Right Way

Adding mulch to your landscape can bring a rich accent to any flower bed or tree with many cost-efficient benefits—but you have to mulch correctly!

Property owners, of both homes and businesses, benefit from proper mulching techniques, which add value to your property and money in your pocket. Follow these simple do’s and don’ts of mulching and you, too, can reap the benefits of a beautifully mulched landscape this season.

Mulching: What to do.

Correct mulching involvesevenly dispersing mulch 2 to 3 inches deep around the base of the tree; the mulch should resemble the base of a wine glass. Extend the mulch circle all the way out to the tree’s drip line—allowing the water the tree collects to drip into the mulch and deliver nutrients to your trees. Proper mulching should mimic a natural setting for your tree.

Correct mulching benefits include:

  • Savings of money, time and resources

  • Elimination of disease and pest infestations

  • Weed suppression

  • Moisture retention

  • Prevention of damage from mechanical equipment

  • Regulation of soil temperature


Mulching: What NOT to do.

Volcano mulching (pictured left) is an over-mulching syndrome that occurs at a tree’s trunk. Property owners often mistakenly build up mulch around the flare, stem or trunk of the tree. This causes excessive moisture collection, which creates infection and disease and attracts insects and pests. Over mulching causes stress on the tree, eliminating its chances of growing and flourishing properly.

Volcano mulching causes the following:

Infection and disease

Pest and insect infestation

Trunk stress

Waste of resources

Unnatural landscapes

Watch Davey Institute Technical Advisor Shawn Fitzgerald explain the step-by-step process of effective mulching

Subscribe to Davey Tree’s YouTube channel for more professional tree service, shrub and lawn care advice.

Intrested in learning how to properly mulch your landscape? Contact your local Davey arborist today to schedule an appointment.

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Related Blog Posts
  • How to Properly Mulch Your Trees

    The blog post below was submitted by Davey's Daniel Kump, district manager at the company's San Diego residential tree care office. He is a regular contributor to the Experts Contributor Program on Angie's List, where this blog was originally published.  

    Proper mulching is very beneficial for landscapes, but one of the worst mistakes you can make when caring for a landscape is overmulching. Follow these simple rules of mulching and you, too, can reap the benefits of a beautifully mulched landscape this season. 

    Do: Spread the mulch evenly Using your shovel, evenly spread the mulch circle all the way out to the tree’s drip line. Don’t worry about making it level – you can even out the mulch after you’re done spreading.

    Read More

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