Jordan Blonski
Feb 7, 2020

Should I Put Mulch Around My Trees?

Along with light, water is one of the essential factors in making a tree healthy. Having your trees on a regular watering cycle can be necessary for some trees, especially since recent summers in the Pacific NW have been drier than those in the past.

If you want the trees in your Seattle, Eastside or North Bend property to be getting the most out of the water you and nature give them, here’s how mulching comes into play.  Mulching can help with many issues such as runoff, evaporation, and soil compaction.

Mulching around the trees in your Seattle, Eastside, North Bend or Snohomish property will improve their health.

How does mulching help trees?

Three to four inches of a coarse mulch will help keep the soil around the base of the tree cool and moist.   It acts as a sponge that keeps the water from running off. Please note that mulch should never touch the base of the tree directly.

Mulching lessens soil runoff

Soil runoff is becoming a problem in many of our streams, rivers, and lakes as fertilizer finds its way into the waters and feed large algae blooms. Therefore, keeping the water in your yard is more important than ever.

Also, on hot days, it keeps the soil cooler so less water is lost to evaporation. Less evaporation means that you will need to water less to make up for the loss.

Arborist chips are the best mulch

Mulch also drastically improves the quality of your soil. Putting down a layer of mulch (like arborist chips) that is full of readily decomposable material is crucial.  Arborist chips often contain leaves along with wood chips.

The leaves breakdown quickly, releasing nitrogen and other nutrients that will be available the next growing season, and the wood chips break down more slowly.

Both the wood and leaves will eventually breakdown to become fertile soils. Products like bark chips aren’t as good as they break down too slowly and aren’t nutrient-dense enough to provide many benefits to your trees.

Mulch lessens soil compaction

Water droplets and foot traffic will compact your soil over time, and this affects the rate in which water is absorbed into the earth. Compaction also inhibits the plant’s ability to expand roots in the soil.

A layer of mulch provides a barrier for the ground thereby reducing the risk of compaction immensely. On top of all those factors, mulch is appealing to look at so your plants and eyes will thank you for putting down a layer of mulch.

Free estimates for services

Eastside Tree Works is a full service tree company serving a large area than includes Seattle metro, the entire Eastside along with Snohomish and North Bend. Contact us for your free estimate from one of our tree professionals.