The Blog
Hats Off to using Mulch Properly

Once you learn how to mulch a tree properly, seeing improperly mulched trees will become a new pet peeve.

KIB always adds a mulch ring around newly planted trees—and a healthy mulch ring would benefit your mature trees too. But make sure you build your mulch ring correctly.

Allow me to outline in four easy steps the way to mulch a tree—properly:

  1. Maintain a ring of mulch around the tree (the wider the better)—organic materials like wood chips are best.
  2. 1-3 inches of mulch should be sufficient and the mulch should never touch the trunk of the tree, as this invites moisture and insects into the bark of the tree, resulting in decay and potential death of your tree.
  3. Your mulch ring needs to look like a donut around the base of your tree. This style of mulch ring holds water around the base of your trees, feeding the roots.
  4. You don’t want the mulch to touch the base of tree trunk. While it is common practice to “volcano mulch” and pile up mulch around the tree trunk – it is not advisable or good for your tree. In the spirit of Halloween (What?! It was just last week) – you don’t want your mulch ring to look like a witch’s hat and never put more than 4 inches of mulch over the roots as this can prevent oxygen from reaching the roots.

Your tree should be checked yearly and mulch should be added in the original donut shape if the mulch has decomposed (mulch is an excellent fertilizer.)

Now that you have all this special knowlegde about proper tree mulching, seeing trees that are doomed to fail with ‘volcano or witch hat’ mulch rings will surely annoy you and take you by surprise.

Don’t fret, you can learn more about proper mulch and watering techniques directly from the arboriculture experts at KIB from visiting our website: