A newly planted tree’s best friend is mulch. It is very important to remember to mulch your tree after you have planted it. Mulch is a valuable for your trees health and care because • Mulch insulates the soil helping to provide a buffer from heat and cold temperatures. • Mulch retains water helping to keep the roots moist. • Mulch keeps weeds out to help prevent root competition. • Mulch prevents soil compaction. • Mulch reduces lawn mower damage. Steps to Adding Mulch Around Your Tree 1. Add mulch to the base of your tree by removing any grass within a 3 to 10-foot area depending on the size of your tree. 2. Pour natural mulch such as wood chips or bark pieces 2 to 4 inches deep within the circle. 3. Keep the mulch from touching the trunk of the tree. 4. Water tree properly. Hazards of “volcano mulching” • Too much moisture built up at the root ball and base of trunk leading to rot and decay • Ideal environment for fungus, insects and burrowing pests. • Unnatural root development due to soil compaction. Graphics a) photo of proper mulching and photo of improper mulching or “volcano mulching” b) photo of above grade roots: Unnatural root development due to improper mulching and will result in the likelihood of stunted growth and declining health of the tree.