Mulch provides many benefits for trees, including storing water, regulating temperature, protecting soil, and keeping out weeds. Too much mulch, however, can be harmful to trees, causing disease and rot. Follow the steps below to turn your mulch volcano into a mulch ring to help your tree thrive!
Step 1: Remove old mulch
Keep going until you get to bare soil. Don’t be scared, you may need to remove a large quantity of grass, mulch, or flowers.
Step 2: Find the Root Flare
It’s where the stem, trunk, or bark changes to roots. On small trees, it’s usually a change in color or where roots are visible. Remove soil down to the root flare.
Step 3: Add New Mulch
Use mulch without colors or dyes. Shredded hardwood bark is best and can be found at your local hardware store or nursery.
Step 4: Check the Mulch Depth
Mulch should be 3”- 4” deep. Don’t have a ruler? Measure to the middle of your hand.
Step 5: Make Sure the Mulch Isn’t Touching the Base of the Tree
This helps prevent disease and rot.
Step 6: Repeat Steps 3-5 Every Spring and Fall
Replenish lost mulch and remove any weeds that have popped up near the tree.
Have a Mulch Volcano? Fix it!
Mulch volcanoes are a common sight around the County. People think that piling MORE mulch around the base of the tree is MORE helpful. But they would be wrong!
The truth is that mulch volcanoes can slowly kill a tree, especially a young one.
Too much mulch heats up and stays moist around the trunk of a tree creating great conditions for harmful bacteria and fungi
Too much mulch is great habitat for insects like ants and borers that can damage a tree
Too much mulch can keep water and air from reaching the roots robbing the tree of energy
Instead of a mulch volcano – properly mulch your tree using the instructions above.
See how tree experts turned a mulch volcano into a mulch ring in this quick video.
Our full poster with step by step instructions on how to fix a mulch volcano.