Mulching Around Trunks of Large, Mature Trees

farmboy1(5)August 22, 2012

I'm wondering what the knowledgeable folks here say about mulching around large, mature trees, like the Sugar Maple in the photo? My main reason is to avoid mower/tractor damage, but also cover areas that grass, etc. does not grow in.



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Mulch away. Just avoid direct contact with the bark.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:50AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would just roundup the grass and be done with it ...

a big gob of mulch.. is just going to look like a unfinished garden bed..

and do not delude yourself.. that you will get much of anything to grow there.. if grass is not competing.. not much else will ...

just spray a 3 or 4 foot circle.. and any large snaking roots.. so you can see them and miss them with the john deere ...

there is much to be said with simply barren soil and the root flare.. somewhat aesthetic on and of itself ...


Here is a link that might be useful: just the pic.. i didnt read the page ...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:11AM
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Thanks, I wond3red about how/if the mulch would affect the large roots and possibly cause rot. Part of the reason I ask is because in the tree in the photo, the amount of soil around the root flare has diminished due to rain, wind, etc. I've no plans to plant anything under them, though some of the trees did have hostas or grass growing happily around that area when I bought the house.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:10AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

first off.. round up has no effect on exposed roots or bark ... no green there..

BUT!!!!! ... if you have scarred the roots with the mower ... do NOT hit such with roundup ... use a paintbrush.. and do not touch the wound ...

trunks rot.. when underground.. i like to think.. they are made for air .. not long term damp ...

roots .. are made for soil.. and that includes damp soil.. they do not rot ... even once exposed ... even when inundated for short term flood ... [those trees fall over due to loss of soil tension.. rather than roots rotting fast ...]

when it all boils down.. i guess i would rather see the roots.. than what will end up looking like a pile of mulch ... you just wont gain anything with a plain 8 foot circle of mulch ...


ps: surprised you arent contemplating moving it.. lol ...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Vince remove the sod carefully by hand to past the dripline the roundup can damage roots so never use it around trees. Remember the damage might not show up till later down the road. Trees will suffocate if soil stays wet too long and excess water in the root zone does and will encourage rot and disease. Mulch to about 3 inches. Oh yeah if you were mowing up to the base of the tree on a john deere then you could fit underneath and yes stuff can grow under it with the light. Mulch 2" and not against the trunk.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:37PM
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