The Q&A Archives: mulch at the base of trees

Question: I planted 2 new trees last year,red maple and paper birch how deep can the mulch be around the tree trunk and is this safe for the trees? I think it has a nice clean look with mulch and keeps my mower away from tree.

Answer: Mulching around trees is an excellent idea, for all the reasons you note. The only caution is that you will want to rake the mulch away from the trunks of your trees by about two inches. When mulch material rests against the bark it can hold too much moisture against the bark and cause it to rot. Keeping that in mind, use 3-4 inches of bark chips, shredded bark (cypress lasts a long time) or any other mulch material readily available in your region. Enjoy your landscape!

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