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too much mulch??

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by two-niner, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. two-niner

    two-niner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Is it possible to put down too much mulch around shrubs, trees, etc. in a landscape? In other words, if there is already a couple of inches of mulch from last year in a landscape and I put down another 2, 3, or even 4 inches on top of that, would it be bad for the shrubs or just unnecessary in general?
  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Too much mulch is a bad thing around trees and shrubs. You should be able to see the flair of the trunk of the tree at the soil line and no mulch should be touching the actual trunk. Deep mulch promotes disease and pest injury since the trunk would stay moist. Also, too much mulch can prevent adequate moisture from reaching the root zone of the shrubs. Often people will swear that they have watered an area. I will pull away the damp mulch to reveal bone-dry soil below. Then comes the lesson in proper watering. The normal recommendation is for 2-3" of mulch. Sometimes, winter protection will require more mulch during the coldest months.
  3. Commander

    Commander Banned
    Messages: 116

    If you have 4-6 inches of mulch or more you have a problem. There are a few occasions though where you would want the 4-6 inches of mulch (possibly more) but not for landscape (aesthetic) purposes.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Lanelle makes a couple of good points. And most customers don't realize that too much mulch is worse than having too little around trees and shrubs. Too much mulch prevents nutrients, air, and water from getting to the root zone.
  5. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    you guys forgot to add root rot may occur with to much mulch.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Yup, thanks Joshua.
  7. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    just read and article that 4in+ around a tree can cause root rot.

  8. site

    site LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    We call it mall mulching- You know when each tree has an 18" tall pile stacked up around the trunk. I tell the guys if the tree trunk is shaped like a trumpet you did it right. If the trunk looks like a phone pole try again. In other words dont bury the root flares.
  9. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    We call those 'mulch volcanos' .
  10. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    I have have heard that mulch should not be touching the trunk of your trees or shrubs. This can promote the presence of burrowing bugs & beetles.

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