Tree Care Tips: Mulch, Compost, and Soil Maintenance

Mulch is roughly ground up wood from other trees, and can act as both a protective buffer and nutrient-rich layer for a young street tree. Spreading a 3-inch layer of mulch on a street tree bed can help prevent soil from becoming hard and compacted, making it easier for the tree’s roots to take in air and water. Mulch is also a great retainer of moisture, and can help prevent the soil from becoming extremely dry during a hot summer drought or high winter wind. In addition, spreading a 1-inch layer of compost, decomposed food, and yard clippings before placing the mulch will allow the soil to better hold air and water, drain more efficiently, and provide a nutrient reserve that the tree can feed on.

Too much mulch, compost, or building a mulch ‘volcano’ around the base of the trunk can be harmful for the tree. Before any additions to the tree bed are made, it’s important to aerate the soil. See how it’s done below!

Tools You Can Use