There are many rumors out there that somehow become common knowledge that are very detrimental to whatever the cause is. Mulching trees is one of them. I am so saddened when I see trees mulched up to their lower branches, called ‘Mulch Volcanoes’. Professional landscapers do it all the time for two reasons, one, to sell you more mulch and to not have to come back anytime soon to remulch you. Sadly, homeowners see this and think this is the correct way to go and the vicious cycle continues.
There are many problems that a mulch volcano can cause. Girdling roots, poor growth, mold to name a few.. However, crown rot rates as a number one worst issue. One stiff breeze is all it will take. Notice in the photo below, the trunk snapped off right at the mulch-line. These types of happenings can cause some costly repairs. Mulch volcanoes are sneaky. Sometimes a tree with a lot of gumption will grow large, however the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Here are my PeeGee Hydrangea trees, PROPERLY mulched, which looked to have survived my fall planting. You can clearly see the root flair at the top of the mulch line. I really only put enough over the rootball to make it the same color/blend well with the mulch donut.
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl