Do you have trees on your property and want to learn more about how mulch can help them thrive? If so, you'll love all the information we have to offer below. Aside from regular and targeted pruning, there's nothing much more valuable you could do to help your tree grow tall and strong than add a layer of mulch.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the various types of mulch, their respective purposes, and how they pair perfectly with trees for vitality and cosmetic reasons.

Are you ready to dig deep into the wonderful world of mulching? Continue reading below.

What Is Mulch?

The simple answer is that mulch is a layer of organic matter or synthetic material applied to soil surfaces. Both types serve the same purpose: to conserve soil moisture.

Here is a simple breakdown of the main differences:

Organic Mulch

Organic mulch is made from materials that derive from nature. Such material can include things like:

  • Wood chips
  • Leaves
  • Straw
  • Bark chips
  • Compost

Organic mulch breaks down quickly and acts as a conduit for the soil to access nutrients, which is massively beneficial for your trees.

Artificial Mulch

Artificial mulch, on the other hand, is made from human-made materials, including:

  • Plastic
  • Rubber

Unlike organic mulch, artificial mulch doesn't break down easily. However, it can still help with weed control and keeping soil moist, allowing plants and trees to absorb nutrients and water.

Top Organic Mulch Choices for Healthy Trees

When shopping for mulch, you’ll discover there are many different options to choose from—so much so that you might struggle with decision paralysis. But don’t let it get you down because we compiled this easy-to-digest list for you.

Your choice will depend greatly on your style preferences, budget, and maintenance expectations. However, a good rule of thumb is to use organic mulch if your goal is to use it around trees.

Generally speaking, organic mulch is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to promote abundant health and fertility of your soil, which is needed for tree vitality.

Now, let's break it down further and discuss why trees love mulch and thrive when paired with organic material.

Using Bark Chips for Mulching

Bark mulch adds a natural component of organic matter to the soil, acting as a nutrient dispenser to the tree. It also prevents the loss of nutrients and vitamins from the tree, so you won't need to worry about fertilizing it too often.

If you're interested in the aesthetic benefits of mulch, you’ll like the fact that bark mulch blends perfectly as a tree skirt, keeping the natural appeal of your landscape.

Utilizing Compost as Mulch

If you're looking for something nutrient-rich, there's nothing better than material recycled from compost. Compost mulch benefits trees in so many ways, including:

  • Enriching the soil with vital nutrients
  • Encouraging beneficial microorganisms
  • Helping suppress weed growth
  • Regulating soil temperature
  • Shielding tree roots from extreme conditions

All these great benefits combined contribute to healthier tree growth.

Wood Mulch Makes a Great Option

While wood chips can be made from bark, a wide range of options are made from various trees, such as oak, hickory, ash, or maple trees, to name a few. Many property owners select wood chips due to their long list of benefits, which includes the following:

  • They conserve soil moisture surrounding the tree.
  • They provide insulation from extreme weather.
  • They slowly decompose and release nutrients into the soil, promoting healthy tree growth.

Wood chips are also versatile in color and style. If you want to add a few layers to enhance the look of your yard, you can opt for colored wood chips, a standard item on garden store shelves.

Mulch Color Options That Will Beautify Your Trees

Now that we've covered the technical aspect of selecting the perfect mulch for your trees, let's dive into the creative side of things: style and color.

Luckily for you, most property owners love mulch, making it a saturated market with an abundance of options to select from. You won't have any issues finding a specific product that checks all your boxes for style requirements.

So, are you looking for something loud and eye-catching? Or maybe something more rustic and natural that blends perfectly with your tree? In either case, the market has something for you.

Here are some things to look for on your shopping trip:

What Color Mulch Is Right for Your Yard?

Ask yourself what color you’re going for. If you prefer a natural look, you’ll find an array of options with their virgin color, meaning they haven’t been artificially colored. Alternatively, you’ll come across a vast selection of brands that sell organic mulch in unnatural colors, meaning they’ve been dyed.

Here are some of the most common colors that complement the natural appeal of trees:

  • Red
  • Black
  • Brown

Depending on where you shop, you may even come across more unique combinations of colors that appease your creative landscaping streak.

Just keep in mind that if the color doesn’t look natural, chances are it has been infused with dyes. Using dyes—no matter how clean—can be a controversial topic in the mulching community as the chemicals leak into the soil. Keeping it natural is the best way to go because that’s generally what trees love and how they thrive.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know how vital mulch is to the well-being of trees, the only thing you have left to do is select a type from the list we provided above. With the proper installation and ongoing care and maintenance, your trees will reap many benefits from moisture-conserving, protective mulch.

Are you looking for a landscaper to guide you through the selection process and lay down the mulch for you? The Arboraxepert team has been doing this for years and will gladly help. To learn more about our service fees or how to book a consultation, please call us at (613) 424-7331. We hope you enjoyed our blog and look forward to hearing from you.