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Here at Stark’s Lawn and Landscape, we want to make sure that not only are we providing excellent quality of work, but also excellent quality of information to our clients. Mulching trees in that which we call a Vulcan mound is not only unhealthy for the trees but can prove dangerous for our clients, their families, and their homes.

By piling too much mulch up around a tree you trick the tree that it is now deeper underground. This causes the tree to stem out girding roots.

These roots only grow throughout the mulch pile. The issue with these roots is, they are not as nutrition bearing as the deeper roots but because they are higher up on the trunk the tree tries to pull from them first causing lower roots to be used less. This causes decay in the lower roots. Making the foundation of the tree unstable. The taller the tree the deeper and wider the root base you need. If those roots start dying off your tree can literally fall over.

The second issue this mound can cause is rot and decay around the base of the tree. The trunk of the tree is not built to have continual moisture around it. But by building up this mulch you hold moisture around the bark and trunk of the tree. This also causes rot and decay at the base of the tree. Also potentially causing a tree to fall.

Mulch around a tree should only be 3 inches in depth and it should never be up against the tree and directly over the rootball.

If a tree has a “Volcano” mound of mulch around it and it has been there for years, it is a delicate process to remove the mulch back. Often times those girding roots need to be removed and done so in a way that ensures it does or damages the tree. This is usually referred to as “Tree Surgery” and is required both skill and knowledge. The pulling back of the mulch is done slowly and carefully in a manner that also ensures if there is rot and decays it doesn’t cause further damage or risk to the one performing the surgery.

If you have a tree that needs this kind of procedure, please do not hesitate to reach out and have us come to inspect the tree to give you a quote.


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Very professional. Did a great job! Amber S.
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