What Are Mulch Volcanoes? You have probably seen trees planted with large mounds of mulch piled around the bases of the tree trunks. This improper practice is unfortunately performed by both homeowners and landscapers, and it leads to what is called a “mulch volcano.”
Even if a tree is planted properly with an appropriate amount of mulch laid at its base, mulch volcanoes can emerge over the years as a result of homeowners or landscapers adding layers of mulch each year.
Mulch volcanoes are extremely problematic, because they can cause trees to become diseased or die. Mulch volcanoes allow trees to grow roots that can wrap around the trunk of the tree. As these roots grow, because they cannot grow outward from the mulch volcano, they wrap themselves around the tree trunk, thereby strangling the tree. If the tree is strangled by these “girdling roots,” the tree’s ability to transfer nutrients diminishes, which can harm the health of the tree, potentially leading to the tree’s death.
Some mulch is useful at the base of a tree, as it can aid with keeping the roots moist. However, too much mulch around the base of the tree can lead to excessive moisture. And when too much moist mulch consistently suffocates the trunk of the tree, it can cause the tree bark to break down and cause the tree to decay.
Finally, tree roots intake oxygen and release carbon dioxide. This exchange process occurs near the top layer of soil. Smothering the base of the tree with mulch prevents the tree from receiving adequate oxygen, which in turn can lead to stressed and dying roots, and thus, a dying tree. This is bad for the tree, because a stressed and dying tree is far more susceptible to harmful insects and disease.
How We Can Help
In addition to selling and planting trees from our farm, Ivandale Farms, LLC offers a mulch volcano removal service for clients who have pre-existing planted trees that are suffering from mulch volcanoes. If you are interested in hearing about this service, please call Jesse at (203) 859-2032, and he can provide you with both information and pricing.