Sunday, April 27, 2008

Landscape - Stop Mulch Mounding

The following is a short article on the problems with mulch mounding from Susan Barton, Extension Horticulture Specialist, University of Delaware.

I know this is like preaching to the choir, but since I have defined one measure of success in my Cooperative Extension career as the elimination of mulch mounds, I want to leave no stone unturned and no audience unassailed. So, if your company participates in the heaping on of mulch around the base of trees in the spring--get them to stop! If you know people who participate in this practice-- spread the word that mulch mounds harm trees. Moist mulch piled up against the trunk of a tree will cause decay that provide a perfect environment for the development of disease or insect infestation. All you need is a thin layer of mulch to prevent light from reaching the soil and prevent germination of annual weed seeds. Perennial weeds will grow up through even a thick layer of mulch. Mulch should be applied to a depth of 2-3 inches and no deeper! Do your part to educate the uneducated on this mulch issue!

Improper mulch mounding around a tree. Photo from Cornell University Department of Horticulture.

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