Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mulching Trees

It appears that trees don''t perform optimally in turf . Go figure (of course they do live naturally in forests). Mulched areas around trees then, while pleasant to look at, are primarily about the health of the tree. The International Society of Arboriculture recommends that trees in turf be mulched in donut form, the mulch extending, not from the trunk, but from a circles~2' out from the trunk, all the way to the dripline! Wow. I like that. More to the point trees like it. And since we have such a huge supply of homemade mulch available, all we have to do is apply labor. Ha Ha.

Wednesday's group project was in the Flowering Tree Collection and we worked on Tree Circles. Using glyphosate (an herbicide), we killed weeds in existing circles and expanded the diameter of others. I hope we get back to mulch where we sprayed. Thursday we (Matt, Cody. John, and I) mulched tree circles in the National Grove of State Trees. Moving the mulch from the Brickyard, essentially all the way to the other side of the Arboretum is the most time consuming aspect of the project. We dumped and ran and dumped and ran and then spread the piles over the tree circles. Over the past several years, the tree circles in the Grove have grown tremendously. The trees clearly are happier and while it would be impossible to positively assign cause and effect, you have to think....

A few notes: Mulch to a depth of 2-4"; keep the mulch away from the trunks of the trees; if you use herbicide to control weeds in the circles, don't spray root suckers from your tree!; If you are treating old neglected circles, you will find that they will have become a haven for weeds. When y;ou are controlling these weeds go out into the turf and attack that "halo" of weeds outside the circle. Otherwise they will just seed backwards into the mulched area. Enjoy your trees.

No comments: