How to properly mulch your trees

Date: July 19, 2017

Placing a mulch ring around your tree is one of the most beneficial measures you can take to protect its health. But if done incorrectly, it's also one of the easiest ways to damage it. Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing.

Every year trees decline and die due to improper mulching -- more commonly known as mulch volcanos. Mulch volcanoes are made simply by piling too much mulch against the trunk of the tree. Doing this holds moisture against the back, which causes the tree to rot. It also makes an ideal home for insects and rodents to feed on the tree.

To apply mulch correctly, place 2-4 inches of mulch in a ring around the base of the tree, but be careful not to place it directly against the trunk. If you do this correctly, the tree benefits by not having weed competition, not being damaged by lawn equipment, and retaining more water for the root system.

Ferguson Township thanks you for mulching our street trees. If you have questions about mulching, or other tree-related matters, please contact Township Arborist Lance King at (814) 238-4651, or by email at