In a nutshell, volcano mulching is piling way too much mulch against the trunk of a tree, creating a pile of mulch which resembles a volcano. This is considered a landscaping no-no and can have detrimental effects on the tree's health.
Why you shouldn't volcano mulch around your tree
The benefits of mulch are well known. Mulch helps to retain moisture, keep weeds at bay and contribute organic matter to the soil.
On the other hand, too much mulch around the tree trunk can be a bad thing. Here's why.
Bark plays a crucial role in the overall health and function of the tree. Prolonged contact with mulch means, over time, the bark gets soggy and breaks down, allowing insects, fungi and other diseases to penetrate the tree.
Not to mention, smothering the tree with too much mulch suffocates the roots.
When the roots can't breathe, they can grow into the mulch rather than through the surrounding soil. This can lead to a shallow root system, reducing the tree's stability and ability to access soil nutrients.
Additionally, tree roots can circle the tree trunk when there's too much mulch. This can eventually constrict the tree's vascular system, making it difficult for the tree to get the water and food it needs to stay healthy.
How to mulch a tree
Here's how to properly mulch a tree.
- Before you mulch, remove all the weeds from around a tree.
- Instead of piling mulch against the tree, you want to create a mulch doughnut about 60-90 cm wide and no more than 5-7cm deep.
- Mulch should not touch the bark at all.
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