As we head towards cooler months, it is critical to maintaining a healthy yard. One of the essential tree care practices before winter is adding a layer of mulch around your trees. You can use many mulching materials, but wood chip or arbor mulch offers a wide range of benefits.
However, there are concerns about the use of mulch, and it isn’t easy to discern myths from the truth. At Driscoll Tree Service, we have a professional and well-trained team of service providers ready to help you make the right decision for your trees. Let’s look at some myths and determine their legitimacy.
While this is a significant concern among homeowners, mulch doesn’t attract rodents. However, if mulch is piled high, it increases the chances of attracting unwanted critters as it decays. We recommend adding a 2-4-inch layer of mulch, ensuring your trees have access to nutrients and the roots are warm throughout winter. Rodents usually build homes by tunneling, so a thin layer of mulch can’t support nesting. Hire a professional tree service if you need professional help to ensure your trees get the right mulch.
This myth is true, as termites only feed on deep and damp mulch. Termites usually prefer large wooden structures that are damp and soft, like softwood and cardboard. Wood chips are an excellent mulching material because they contain a mixture of dry wood types, which aren’t a termite’s favorite food. Wood chips from cedar and redwood are also recommended for mulching because they contain compounds that repel termites.
Mulch is an organic substance that has little impact on soil acidity. Although the part of the soil in contact with mulch may acidify a little as it breaks down, it can’t alter the soil acidity. The roots are spread out and can’t be affected by the slight acidity on the surface. If you are mulching your trees, avoid mixing fresh mulch deep into the soil to allow air circulation and effectively disburse nutrients as mulch decays.
Mulch temporarily ties up nitrogen during decomposition, making it unavailable to plants. The impact is only felt on the surface in contact with the mulch, meaning it has little effect. The roots are deeper down beneath the surface, where they can access nitrogen released from the mulch. It is advisable to onboard a reputable tree care company to ensure mulch is mixed correctly in the soil without risking the well-being of your trees.
Diseases need a specific environment for them to thrive, and improper mulch application can create these conditions. As mentioned, the proper way to apply mulch is to ensure it is between 2-4 inches away from your trees to prevent trapping moisture and subsequent contamination. If you suspect deterioration on your trees after applying mulch, you need to hire a tree care company for maintenance.
Contact us at Driscoll Tree Service and schedule a consultation with our representatives. We leverage extensive industry knowledge and experience to ensure your trees are in tip-top condition throughout the year.
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