The Q&A Archives: mulch for sequoia trees

Question: We have a very large sequoia tree in our front yard. We recently pulled up the grass under it and around it since it wasn't growing very well. There is now just dirt. Can we put mulch or bark chips under the tree in place of the grass to make it look nicer? If so, what would be the best medium to use that would benefit the tree? When the needles begin to fall, would it be best to just leave the needles on the ground and not to rake them up?

Answer: If you want to make the area look more attractive, a thin layer of bark chips or bark nuggets will do the job. I'd allow the needles to remain on the ground. It looks more natural and as the needles decompose they will create a protective duff which will also leach small amounts of beneficial nutrients over the root system of your sequoias.

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