Mulches are materials placed over the soil surface to maintain moisture and improve soil conditions. Mulching is one of the most beneficial things that can be done for the health of a tree. Mulch can reduce water loss from the soil, minimise weed competition, and improve soil structure. Properly applied, mulch can give landscapes a handsome, well-groomed appearance. Mulch must be applied properly; if it is too deep, or if the wrong material is used, it can actually cause significant harm to trees and other landscape plants.
Composted chippings can be used as mulch. The best use of wood chip mulch is around trees and shrubs. In the border, properly applied, composted wood chip mulch will suppress weeds, enhance plant growth, conserve soil moisture and insulate soil from temperature fluctuations. The mulch should be laid no more than 4 inches deep and tamped down. If you are mulching trees or shrubs, the mulch should extend beyond the canopy, and be 6 inches away from the trunk. Water well before applying mulch. Mulch can be applied to trees in a lawn. If you are making a new planting in a lawn, remove the turf to a diameter of 3 feet greater than the planting hole and apply the mulch as above.
If the tree to be mulched is established in a lawn, do not remove the turf before mulching, as this may cause surface root damage.
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