Proper Mulch Application

Too Much Mulch?

Do you have too much mulch in beds or around trees? When properly applied, mulch can be beneficial to your landscape to retain moisture and reduce weed growth. However, a build-up of excessive mulch or an over-application can cause problems for plants. The experts at Shorb can help ensure that the mulch in your landscape is properly applied, and in some cases, reduced or removed.

Why might I need to remove mulch in my garden?

While mulch is very beneficial for the plants to thrive in our gardens, too much will have a detrimental effect on the plants.

Excessive mulch can suffocate the plant roots which inhibits their ability to “breath”.

Mulch holds in moisture which is good for tree roots, but not for the trunk. Never let mulch build up against the trunk of a tree.

Do I have too much mulch?

Some types of mulch, like shredded hardwood, does not break down.

Unless old mulch us removed, repeated applications may have accumulated over the years.

Sometimes mulch is simply over applied.

What happens if I do nothing?

Too much mulch will stress the tree which may cause secondary issues, such as insect and disease infestations. Just like people, if we don’t have a balanced diet, enough sleep, etc., which makes us more susceptible to getting sick. These are correlations, not causation. Be aware, but not alarmed.

How is excess mulch removed?

Hand shovels to gently scrape the excess away, while being careful not to damage the roots.

A high pressure air spade can blow away the excess mulch without damaging the roots.This is the preferred method for beds planted with shrubs and bushes.

How do I prevent this from happening in the future?

Apply at the proper thickness: If using shredded hardwood mulch, first application should be 2”. After that, a very light re-mulching ( ½ to 1”) is all that is needed to make it look fresh.

Remove old mulch: If using shredded hardwood mulch exclusively, remove some of the old mulch before applying new mulch.

Use Shredded Leaf Mulch: It breaks down within 6 months. It also acts like the natural forest litter that plants have evolved to thrive in. You may notice an increase in bird activity, as they are going for the earthworms.

Contact Shorb for more Information

Still have questions, or need an expert to inspect your landscape? Contact Shorb today to schedule a consultation!