Mulch benefits trees year after year. Whether new or established, mulch helps hold moisture in the soil and suppresses weeds and grass that compete for water and nutrients.
A ring of mulch around the drip line of a tree helps control erosion and keeps mowers at a safe distance so you don’t injure trunks and roots. Use ready-made mulch rings, or make your own. Do not “volcano” mulch or allow mulch to touch the trunk; both can cause trunk rot and disease and eventually kill the tree.
The Best Mulch Rings for Your Trees:
- Recycled rubber. A good choice for eco-friendly gardeners. They don’t decompose, you won’t find bits of rubber scattered around, and they let in water and nutrients.
- Planting rings. These water rounds are bottomless basins with teeth that press into the ground. Made of recycled plastic, they’re also good for gardeners who like to go green. You can even use them on a slope, or where the ground is hard or heavy in clay.The rings will hold rainfall or water from your hose so it can soak into the ground, instead of running off or evaporating. You can add 2 to 4 inches of mulch in each ring to help retain more moisture.
- Hardscape ring. Use a hose to make a circle, and carefully remove all grass and weeds from inside the circle. Go wide to cover more of the tree’s roots. Be careful to not disturb the roots. Add edging, such as bricks or stones, just outside the circle. Use a spade or shovel to cut a shallow trench deep enough to hold whatever type of edging you prefer. Put the edging in place. Fill the ring with 2 to 4 inches of mulch.
- Pre-made tree ring. A pre-made ring is an eco-friendly mat that looks and performs like organic mulch but doesn’t decompose or scatter. This tree ring is a snap to install. Simply trace the mat around the tree and use a shovel to outline the shape. Remove all grass and weeds from inside the circle, being careful not to disturb the roots of the tree. Place mat and water well.