We are big proponents of mulch and that’s not just because we’re a tree care company. Wherever you put it (in planting beds, around trees or in large unplanted areas), mulch provides big benefits.
In Planting Beds
In a region like Southern California, mulching planting beds can help you save water because the mulch prevents evaporation from soil and keep plants hydrated. As the mulch decomposes it releases nutrients to the soil, further benefiting the plants.
Mulch provides similar benefits when placed around trees. In addition to retaining moisture and releasing nutrients, mulch rings eliminate the need or ability to mow over tree roots, a practice that can create wounds that allow disease and fungus to enter and attack the tree.
In Open Areas
In large open areas, mulch discourages the growth of weeds while providing an attractive ground cover. Additionally, the decomposition process and increased moisture may improve the quality of the soil, making it more amenable to plantings in the future.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Mulch)
Arborist mulch is available for free from local tree companies and has the benefit of providing a hefty punch of nutrients and valuable water savings. However, there are a few things to know before requesting a load of the woody goodness:
- Mulch is a mixture of wood chips, small branches and leaves*
- Delivery is one full truck load (12 – 20 cubic yards)
- The tree company probably won’t spread the mulch
- You must provide a location for the dump that is level and not underneath power lines
*For a more manicured look you may want to consider “premium mulch,” which your landscaping company should be able to provide and spread for a fee. The cost of this type of mulch can be significant but may be worth it in high visibility areas or on properties where visitors expect a more uniform appearance.
Here is a useful video to help you understand what to expect from a delivery of arborist mulch: