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vale of paradise
08-17-2008, 03:26 PM
Was out at a property that the mulch has been mounded over time....... I like the mound look esthetically but is it healthy for the tree to have a foot + high of mulch ?

Any feedback on this would be helpful.

Thank you .......L

dKoester
08-17-2008, 03:29 PM
Simple answer no. It can cause severe problems down the road for the tree.

Plant Buyer 83
08-17-2008, 04:00 PM
Ya - big negative on "mulch volcano's". 2-4" only - no more.

Few Reasons:

- Continuous moisture on the trunk will cause cankers and splits allowing disease and pests to attack!

- Excess moisture in the root zone will stress the plant and cause root rot or again other diseases!

- Thick blankets of mulch can become matted and actually PREVENT water, fert, and air (don't suffocate you tree - they need to breath too!) from getting to the roots!

- Rodents love nesting in thick mulch - sometimes gnawing on your tree's bark.

PerfectEarth
08-17-2008, 04:15 PM
Ya - big negative on "mulch volcano's". 2-4" only - no more.


All good points PlantBuyer, but I would say 2-4 inches at the base of a trunk is STILL too much! I never put any hardwood around the base of any tree trunk- right up to it and then taper it up and away... Still, amazing how often you see this simple, basic rule of landscaping ignored! What's worse is when guys mound it up underneath shrubs and smaller items. Makes me ill...:nono:

Green Man Enviroscaping
08-17-2008, 05:10 PM
Seems a lot of folks are mulch vulcanologists.

I'll second (or third, if I spend too much time typing this!) the advise to taper off the mulch around trees. It shouldn't touch the trunk. Four inches is good coverage once you're out of contact with the plant itself.

DBL
08-17-2008, 05:31 PM
not a mound of sorts but we have a slight mound shape around our trees

JimmyStew
08-17-2008, 06:54 PM
I would second (or third or...) what the others have said, with one divergence. Is the mound made of mulch or soil? I've seen situations where trees have been planted several inches or more above grade, and then had soil mounded up around the root ball. Sort of a "mini-berm". Not a look I prefer but some may like it. If this is the case, there isn't necessarily a problem, unless the you are in a colder climate and the tree roots won't have enough insulation during the winter. The best way to determine is to move any soil or mulch away from the trunk of the tree until you find the root flare - the part of the trunk where it starts to widen out. You should never have any soil or mulch covering this part of the tree.

Green Man Enviroscaping
08-17-2008, 08:17 PM
I've seen situations where trees have been planted several inches or more above grade.... If this is the case, there isn't necessarily a problem, unless the you are in a colder climate and the tree roots won't have enough insulation during the winter. .... find the root flare - the part of the trunk where it starts to widen out. You should never have any soil or mulch covering this part of the tree.

Good points on planting above grade.

Very recently, I've run into a case where they planted above grade because the tree liked it on the dry side and the ground was saturated. This idea doesn't sit well with me because a couple of things could happen:

1) the tree isn't held fast in the light and fluffy soil mound
2) the tree is going to eventually get roots down into that saturated soil where it isn't happy (unless #1 goes catastrophic first!)

At that point, you're probably planting the wrong tree for that area.

vale of paradise
08-18-2008, 10:01 PM
Wanted to thank everyone for their opinion for the mulch around the trees. I thought there was too much around them but I just wanted to check some other pro's. Do some companies do it because they think it looks good? My other thought of why they would make it so high is to cover the suckers at the bottom.

Love everyones input......... Thanks again.

PSUturf
08-18-2008, 10:22 PM
I usually see mulch volcanoes created by low ball companies. They generally don't have any employees who know what they are doing or why they are doing it. They're just material handlers. They don't have the knowledge to educate the customer about the right way to apply mulch.

Harry Homeowner sees the mulch volcanoes around the trees at the mall and thinks that is how you are supposed to mulch so he goes home and does it to his trees. It's a never ending cycle.

vale of paradise
08-18-2008, 11:40 PM
PSU, well actually the company that currently has the account is a large company, if not one of the largest in the area. Maybe it is easier to put more on top every year. Not sure! I only care able promoting what is the correct thing to do.

treegal1
08-19-2008, 02:49 AM
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx

vale of paradise
08-19-2008, 08:54 AM
Treegal, thanks for the website. It is definately one to bookmark.

Linda

White Gardens
08-20-2008, 05:42 PM
Is the mulch mound created by the mulch, or the rootball of the tree being planted too high????

STRINGALATION
08-21-2008, 01:49 AM
All good points PlantBuyer, but I would say 2-4 inches at the base of a trunk is STILL too much! I never put any hardwood around the base of any tree trunk- right up to it and then taper it up and away... Still, amazing how often you see this simple, basic rule of landscaping ignored! What's worse is when guys mound it up underneath shrubs and smaller items. Makes me ill...:nono:

you are so correct ther is a meijers out dixie that is volcano alley maybe 100 volcanoes and i know it is not right plenty of lawncompanies here do this practice either volcanoes are paper thin

CrystalCreek
08-22-2008, 09:18 PM
:laugh::laugh::laugh:Stop, Stop, Please!!! I can't stop laughting about the Mulch Volcano comment. It just struck me funny for some reason. My stomach hurts from laughting so hard. Thanks, I needed that

Marbleman
08-22-2008, 09:34 PM
The sad thing is that clients of mine have seen "Volcano Mulching" at various locations in Middletown, CT and they think this is correct industry practices.
One of my clients actually did this at his house and we informed him of the how bad this was for his trees.

He will not be doing that again!:hammerhead:

mdvaden
08-23-2008, 04:22 AM
If it was porous like bark nuggets, you could go as thick as 6" but reduce the depth approaching the trunk.

The finer the mulch, the thinner the layer should be.

Generally, I find 4" inches plenty, tapering to 2" near the trunk, with a medium texture bark mulch.

Even though someone could go 6" with nuggets, can't imagine why due to the expense.