Don’t Mulch That Tree! And Other Tips

Shade Trees Help Make Towson A Desirable Neighborhood

Trees increase property values, clean air pollution, control water run-off, provide shade which cools the whole neighborhood, and help create a lovely, vibrant community.

So why do people hurt trees? Sometimes people are trying to do the right thing but do not know they are actually causing disease, die-back, and early death of trees.

Tree Health Damaged By Mulch

Please stop mulching around trees.  That is the advice of horticulturalists who are observing many young trees’ failure to thrive, with infections at the base of trees where mulch touches the bark, and die-back of the top of trees that have too much deep mulch and dirt piled over their roots.

Tree bark is like humans’ skin, as it will break down if kept in moisture and away from air. Infections with insects, bacteria and fungus can then attack. To protect the bark,

Do Not Allow Mulch To Touch The Tree

Tree roots need air and water. Deep mulch will keep air and water from reaching the roots, and lead to substances that are toxic to roots. To try to get air, small roots grow up into the mulch, but these are more susceptible to drought, stress and wind.

Tree mulch
The wrong way to mulch a tree.

Use Less Than Two Inches Of Mulch, If Any

Tree tops will be thin and show unhealthy “die-back” when trees get sick from deep mulch or from mulch touching their trunks for too long. Like humans, trees try to fight infections and other insults, but eventually they can get very SICK. And then they can die early.

More advice from a local landscape architect .

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