The Importance of Mulching
Arbor Day Foundation
Saving the Tree Canopy; How Each Resident Can Help
By Jan Lemasters
There are many reasons why we are so fond of the eastern redbud tree. I suspect our affection for this small, native tree is largely based on its beauty and not what I consider to be one of its most endearing features.
Before the official arrival of spring, redbuds set our backyards and woodlands ablaze with their bright pink to purple blooms. These blossoms burst forth at a time when we are weary of the grayish brown tones that dominate the winter landscape. Consequently, during recent weeks, it was a joy to drive the roads that wind their way through the countryside near my middle Georgia home and be treated to splotches of color dabbed across the landscape by an artist that seemed to be just beginning to paint a magnificent spring mural.
As anyone that has a redbud growing in their yard can attest, the tree's heart-shaped leaves don't appear until the flowers begin to fade. This foliage is attractive in its own right. The leaves are large (3 to 5 inches) and heart shaped. In a yard setting, the canopy of redbuds makes them a great shade tree –refuge from the heat on a hot August day. MORE . . .
There has been a lot of talk and print given to "saving the tree canopy" on the Golden Isles, and particularly Saint Simons Island. Whyhas this become a priority to citizens? How can or why should individual residents participate?
The tree canopy has long been the crowning glory of the Golden Isles. I suspect the vast stretches of treeless marshes surrounding the islands, beautiful in their own way, contribute to the enjoyment of the trees. In the early 1700's, settlers living on Saint Simons Island relied on the live oak tree canopy as a place to worship. Before air conditioning, trees provided comfort from long, hot summers. (The cooling effect of a single healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day!) MORE. . .
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A newly planted tree’s best friend is mulch. It is very important to remember to mulch your tree after you have planted it.
Mulch is a valuable for your trees health and care because
Mulch insulates the soil helping to provide a buffer from heat and cold temperatures.
Mulch retains water helping to keep the roots moist.
Mulch keeps weeds out to help prevent root competition.
Mulch prevents soil compaction.
Mulch reduces lawn mower damage.
Steps to Adding Mulch Around Your Tree
Add mulch to the base of your tree by removing any grass within a 3 to 10 foot area depending on the size of your tree.
Pour natural mulch such as wood chips or bark pieces 2 to 4 inches deep within the circle.
Keep the mulch from touching the trunk of the tree.
Out My Backdoor: The True Value of Redbud Trees By Terry W. Johnson