"Volcano" Mulching and the Health of Trees

Jul 16, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. As you drive around your city of town, keep an eye out for how trees in commercial settings are mulched.  There’re many places where companies obviously pay landscape maintenance crews a lot of money to keep things tidy and neat. Sadly, some of the no doubt well-meaning workers don’t have a good knowledge of basic horticulture, especially when it comes to mulching trees as volcano mulching is a craze.  Urban trees are critically important to the quality of life in cities, their cooling shade alone is a prime example in these hot summer days. Unfortunately, they have an average lifespan of less than twenty years  and  Volcano mulching is one factor that contributes to their early death.   Sadly, unlike with real volcanos, there is no “inactive” phase of this practice of piling mulch up around the trunk of a tree, it’s always harmful.