Malcarne Blog

Planting and Mulching Trees: Tips for Healthy Growth

Jun 21, 2023 | Tree Service | 0 comments

Trees are beautiful gifts of nature but they offer many more benefits in addition to aesthetics.  Trees help clean the air we breathe and filter the water we drink. They also give us a chance to connect with nature and provide shade to our properties. For homeowners, trees are a valuable addition to any property, offering benefits that include reduced energy costs. In fact, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, properly placed trees can decrease a home’s energy use by up to 25%. By following best practices for planting and caring for trees, homeowners can help ensure that their trees thrive and provide these benefits for years to come.

At Malcarne Tree PHC & Landscape, we help homeowners and business owners access the benefits trees have to offer. In this article, we will share four tips that can help ensure your tree is well-prepared to grow and thrive.

Choose the Right Plant for the Right Place

The first step in planting a tree is to choose the right plant for the right place. Factors such as size, soil type, light exposure, and water requirements of your tree should be taken into consideration before you plant it. 

Planting a tree that won’t thrive in your location can be a waste of time and money so take time to consider the best tree for your location. Remember, you wouldn’t plant a cactus in a swamp. Similarly, planting a tree that is expected to reach a mature height near or under power-lines can result in significant problems in the future. 

Set the Trees at the Correct Grade

Setting trees at the correct grade is crucial to their longevity. Plant the tree so that the root flare — the taper where roots and stem/trunk meet — is at or slightly above grade. 

This helps ensure that the trees planted are at the right depth. Planting trees too deep can lead to root suffocation and poor growth. Conversely, planting trees too high can lead to poor anchoring and a weakened tree structure.

Avoid Mulch Volcanoes

Mulch volcanoes are a common sight around newly planted trees, but they’re not the best practice. Mulch volcanoes retain moisture. This excess moisture invites pests and pathogens to a vulnerable part of the plant, the stem and root flare. It also encourages girdling and/or adventitious roots. 

Girdling roots relate to roots that grow closer to the base of a tree instead of growing away from the base. This compact distribution of roots beneath the base of the tree can restrict the flow of water and nutrients, potentially leading to the death of the tree. Adventitious roots, on the other hand, refer to roots that appear above ground instead of growing deep beneath the soil. The roots can damage pavement and property. 

Mulch volcanoes can also result in shallow roots making the tree less anchored or stable and more susceptible to drought. Instead of using mulch volcanoes, apply a 2-4 inch layer of mulch evenly around the base of the tree. Be sure to keep the mulch several inches away from the trunk. This effective use of mulch will help conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. You’ll also feel confident knowing your tree is well prepared to gain the nutrients it needs, all while providing the incredible benefits associated with trees. 

Hire a Certified Arborist for Tree Planting

In our numerous years supporting customers with their tree service needs, we’ve often been asked the benefits of hiring a certified arborist. Here’s why we often recommend that property owners hire a professional for their tree and plant health care needs: 

  • Certified arborists offer expertise you can rely on. This allows you to focus on enjoying the benefits of your trees and the natural environment within which you live. In essence, they help you focus on the things that matter most.
  • Certified arborists are trained problem solvers. Since arborists are experienced in plant health care and apply best practices to tree planting, they can also recommend species that are appropriate for your location and specific needs. They can mitigate risks associated with poor planting and mulching as well as help you tackle unexpected challenges that could possibly damage a tree’s overall health and longevity.
  • Certified arborists are prepared to help you every step of the way. In addition to guiding you on the best tree species for your location, the best arborists are well-equipped to do more than advice. They implement. They get things done. They plant, prune, and treat. Tree installation via a certified arborist can help ensure that your new tree has a healthy start. Through their loving care, arborists prepare trees to mature to their full size and help guarantee that these trees can provide the environmental, economic, and social benefits expected throughout their lifetime.

Proper planting and mulching are crucial for the health and longevity of your trees. By choosing the right plant for the right place, setting trees at the correct grade, avoiding mulch volcanoes and hiring a certified arborist, you can ensure that your trees will thrive and provide benefits for years to come.  

Not sure where to start? Our tree service team is more than happy to help. Call us at 845.832.4160 to learn more. Let us help you create a healthy and beautiful outdoor space you’ll be proud of!