Proper mulching of your trees is an important part of maintaining a healthy landscape. In this infographic you will learn all about proper mulching and how to mulch the right way. Most importantly you will avoid damaging your trees with improper mulching practices. In this infographic guide to mulching trees and shrubs you will also learn why mulching is so important! What is proper mulching? The simple answer is avoid a mulch volcano, and instead make a donut shape with the mulch. Keep mulch away from the base of the tree. A mulch volcano looks just like it sounds, and you have likely seen this improper mulching practice before. The proper way to mulch around a tree is to keep the mulch away from the tree trunk. What are the benefits of proper mulching? The answer is simple, proper mulching can lead to healthier trees and landscapes by keeping more water in the ground. More importantly, proper mulching can prevent weeds which saves you time. Finally, proper mulching also stabilizes the ground temperature in summer and winter. In the summer mulch keeps the ground cool, and in the winter mulch keeps the ground warmer. Why is mulching around a tree base improper and dangerous? When it comes to trees and shrubs, leaving mulch against the base of the tree can lead to rot, secondary roots, and interferes with proper bark development. See the infographic for more details. How does improper mulching lead to disease in a tree? Improperly mulching your trees and shrubs can prevent the bark of your trees and shrubs from hardening properly for winter. But that is not all, too much mulch in general can retain too much water, which can lead to a tree “drowning”. What are some tips for proper mulching? There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to proper mulching. Make sure that you maintain “breathing space” around the trunk of the tree. Mulch should be no more than 3-4 inches thick, and the diameter of the mulch ring should be 3 feet or more. What is the best mulch for trees and shrubs? The best mulch for most trees and shrubs is a hardwood based mulch, either dyed or non-dyed. Although when it comes to choosing the best mulch for your trees any mulch that is properly applied will do the job. Proper mulching around trees and shrubs will retain water, balance temperature extremes, and prevent weeds. Whereas, improper mulching can lead to rotting roots, improperly developed bark, secondary roots, and even dehydration caused by water repelling fungi. Share this infographic on proper mulching with your friends and neighbors.