Bark mulch is too light, imo, to harm a tree unless it is piled very
deeply over the root zone and up to the trunk. I don't know particulars
of pines except that there are common diseases that can kill them. I'd
ask, or take pictures and a sample, to local extension service.
I would doubt it. Although the most common mistake people make with
mulch is to pile it high around the trunk. That makes a perfect place
for insects to boar into the bark and that can kill the tree. Mulch
should not touch the base of the trunk.
Are people doing the volcano pile high mulch thing everywhere now?
Here in NJ it's become the common thing over the last decade or so.
I attributed it to nyc folks who don;t know any better and have been
migrating here in droves.
Lately I've noticed another factor. In new construciton, I've seen 7
ft trees planted with the huge mulch volcanoes, at least a foot
high. Turns out, the trees were planted without much of a hole.
Looks like a half-assed way to avoid digging the proper hole. And by
the time the tree dies, it isn't there problem anymore.
To answer the OP question, no reason mulch about 3" thick or so should
harm any tree, unless it's mulch that was made out of something toxic.
It is a good idea to mulch around trees to keep from injuring trunk with
mowers. Just don't pile it too high or too thick, or, as another
mentioned, up against the trunk. Mulch that is too heavy and/or thick
can smother roots. Another concern is that, over time, much
decomposition can temporarily deprive tree of nutrients....requires N to
break down. I suspect that would be more problematic for small trees
and mulch, like leaves, that break down more rapidly.
Citrus trees, for one, are very susceptible to fungus disease from
having too wet conditions around base of trunk.
1 foot high? Seems 3 feet is the rule here-- Near Albany, NY. The
first time I saw it I thought they were just healing in the plants on
newly delivered mulch. The dumbest looking one I've seen had 45
degree slopes and some 3-4ft high pointy evergreens planted on them
perpendicular to the slope.
That was my thought--- Some disease or chemical in the mulch. "Bark
mulch" covers a whole lot of different materials.
On Sat, 17 Oct 2009 14:02:08 -0400, " email@example.com"
Imagine this. . . Power crew treats right-of-way with herbicide.
After everything is dead a clean up crew mulches it up so the brush
doesn't create a fire hazard. Homeowner says "Free mulch" and
throws a couple pickup loads on his prize rhododendron.
Wellllll....you don't treat an area with herbicide and then immediately
cut the brush you intend to kill with the herbicide. If herbicide is
used, it would break down before new growth would come along. And bark
mulch is typically pine bark, waste from mills.
The only colored mulch I am aware of is shredded cypress...bark? Don't
recall ever seeing colored bark. There is always red lava rock, which
I like natural colors, and have used shredded cypress. I like it best,
but don't like the thought of sacrificing cypress trees. Shredded
leaves are great, especially for acid-loving plants. Something that is
ideal for permanent plantings is river rock on top of landscape cloth.
No trees to sacrifice, no chemicals, allows moisture to reach plants and
is a natural product. In some areas around our condo where I put in
some delicate plants, I put a potted plant into the ground first, put
landscape cloth and rock around it - these are relatively small so that
I can just pull the pot to bring them indoors if it freezes here. For
larger plants, can still use the pot so's the rock and l.c. aren't
disturbed if I want to change plantings.
Did you notice the <G>? He wasn't talking about needles. Not to
mention I think when referring to a tree, it's Fir, not fur. Well
anyway it used to be before the internet starting to ruin the English
language making it worse than it was already.
I think what he was talking about is the fact that at least some pine
trees and maybe similar trees have some of their needles turn yellow
this time of year and then they shed them and grow new ones. People
can mistake that for a tree problem.
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