Municipal Services

Posted on: June 5, 2017

Proper Mulching of Parkway Trees


Mulching is one of the most beneficial practices a homeowner can use for better tree health. The proper use of  mulch zones around new trees are extremely helpful in protecting the young plant from mowers, string trimmers and other threats. 

The Village is currently planting parkway trees within the community and encourages residents to participate in the care of newly planted parkway trees. The generally recommended mulching depth  for a new tree is 2 to 4 inches for well drained sites.  Incorrect applications of mulch can be potentially harmful to new trees. The most commonly seen example of this is “Volcano Mulching”

A mulch volcano occurs when mulch is applied too deep and pushed up against the trunk of the tree. If mulch is piled around the trunk, the roots will start to grow into it. These roots will then grow around the trunk in the mulch. As the root grows thicker, it pushes against the trunk, which is also increasing in size. These roots will eventually strangle the trunk and cause eventual death. 

Mulch piled against a tree trunk also traps unnecessary moisture and decaying organic material against the bark.  This often leads the onset of disease and decay around base of trunk which prevents food and energy from traveling up and down the tree.  It also creates an ideal environment for fungal and canker development in the trunk, leading to eventual death.

The proper way to mulch is to allow the “flare” at base of the tree to be exposed. This allows the tree to "breathe" and will allow for excess moisture to escape.

Additional Information at mortonarb.org
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