Use the Right Mulch for your Tree Landscape Use the Right Mulch for your Tree Landscape

Trees are of course an essential part of an attractive outdoor landscape, but caring for those trees can at times be difficult. One of the most frequently asked question about trees and their care has to do with choosing the right kind of mulch, and it is important for homeowners to give their trees the mulch they need to thrive.

In most cases the best type of mulch for trees will be simple wood chips. This is because the best mulch is one that will gradually decompose and provide the tree with a steady diet of nutrients. Mulch made using wood chips provides this slow decomposition, which is good for the growth of the tree. At the same time wood chip mulch tends not to encourage excessive weed growth, another important consideration.

Composted wood chips are generally the best choice, since they are durable and low maintenance. In addition, these composted wood chips will weather to an attractive silverfish grey color.

The problem, of course, is that most mulch made with wood chips is sold fresh, rather than in the more useful composted form. While these fresh wood chips also decompose, the presence of other microorganisms means increased competition for nutrients that would otherwise be available to the trees. Mulch made with composted wood chips is free of these competing microorganisms, and this makes it superior from a nutritional standpoint.

One solution to this problem, of course, is to buy fresh wood chips and compost them on your own. Placing these fresh wood chips into a backyard compost bin, along with a variety of leaves, twigs and bark, can provide the composted wood chip mulch your trees crave. When composting your own mulch, be sure to keep the compost bin well aerated and turn it often.

Organic mulches can also be a good solution to the problem of how to mulch the trees in your landscape. These organic mulches are known for their ability to enhance the value of the soil, and they too decompose slowly over time, releasing small quantities of nutrients and allowing the trees to absorb the nutrients. When using organic mulch it is important to renew the mulch periodically, and to use a layer between two and four inches in depth. When mulching individual trees, the area to be mulched should be from three to six feet from the base of the tree.

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