Smothering Trees - Aesthetics over Vitality?!?

Updated: Jun 3, 2018

So, everywhere I turn in this beautiful area of east TN I see mulch under trees >2" thick up to the and touching the trunk. That's a recipe for disaster. The root-trunk zone is an area in which gas exchange is critical, true of all parts of the tree. Granted the roots can take a lower gas exchange ratio than the leaves. When landscapers do this it's because it has become the aesthetic norm not because it benefits the tree. For mulch to truly, positively impact the surface roots of a tree it should be beyond the drip line of the canopy by 1 - 3 meters. That's were the feeder roots near the surface are growing and most productive. In

Morton Arboretum