Proper Tree Saucer Mulching

Tree planting on public land and private land can make a positive difference in beautifying a community. However, often many newly planted, as well as established trees suffer from volcano mulching where mulch is piled high against tree trunks.

This encourages disease and other pests, prevents water from reaching the root ball, encourages tree roots to grow upward into the mulch where they may girdle the trunk, and wastes mulch.

A maximum depth of only 1 to 2 inches should be applied to the top of the root ball. Additional depth restricts water penetration to the roots. Keep the mulch four inches away from the trunk to decrease the chance for trunk diseases. When freshening mulch for aesthetics, remove the old mulch first. To learn more about the impacts of volcano mulching and how best to remove excess mulch and gridling roots visit