Mulching Around Trees
Mulch is beneficial for your trees health because:
- Mulch insulates the soil, protecting the roots from extremes in temperature
- Mulch reduces soil moisture loss through evaporation and keeps the roots moist
- Mulch helps to control weed germination and growth
- Mulch reduces the damage to trunks from machinery (such as lawn mowers and line trimmers)
- Mulch reduces soil compaction
- Mulch can improve your soils fertility
- Spread a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to a depth of 5 – 10cm
- Ideally the mulch should extend to the tree’s dripline (if possible)
- Ensure mulch is clear of the trunk of the tree (the mulch should look like a donut when finished)
Buying a Tree
Because trees can live for decades, or even centuries, it is critical you match your tree to the site. A well selected specimen planted in an appropriate site is an asset, whereas if the specimen is poor or planted in the wrong location it can become a costly expense.
What to look for in a good quality tree:
- Ensure the tree is healthy in appearance. It should have good form with well-spaced and firmly attached branches
- Check out the stems and limbs to ensure they are free from wounds – both from mechanical damage and pests & diseases
- The root system needs to support the growth of the tree. Avoid trees which are root bound, have a thick root mat at the bottom or with circling roots
Planting a Tree
Purchasing a tree is an investment. For a tree to live long enough to reach maturity, it must get a healthy head start with proper planting.
- Trees are ideally planted while they are dormant.
- Before planting ensure the tree is well watered
- Dig a hole approx. 50% larger than the root ball and loosen up the soil in the bottom of the hole.
- Plant the tree, ensuring the top of the root ball is at ground level. Back fill around the tree making sure the soil is firmed in
- Water the tree after planting to ‘settle’ it in
- Apply mulch around the base of the tree (see Mulching around trees tip)
We’ve put together some handy tree tips to help you keep your trees healthy and looking great. Check back regularly for updates and seasonal advice.
Why Employ an Arborist
An arborist is trained in the care and management of trees. Professional arborists not only care for the trees in best manner, they work safely and reduce the risk of damage to both the public and property.
Well maintained trees improve the aesthetics of a property or landscape as well as adding value. Certain aspects of arboriculture are dangerous and as such you should only employ people with the appropriate training and equipment to undertake the work.
When employing an arborist check that they are members of a professional body and have relevant industry credentials (such as Approved Contractor status with NZ Arboricultural Association).