Mulching 201


Mulching does many things:

  • Protects soil from extremes in temperature and moisture
  • Inhibits the growth of weeds
  • Protects the trunks of trees from injury
  • Can add organic matter to the soils
Lots of different materials qualify as mulch, from rocks to recycled rubber, but the most effective mulch in the urban landscape is arborist wood chips. Why?
Coarse woody debris, or wood chips, break down slowly and release their stored energy back into the ground for use by other plants. Interestingly, their slow release rate is less likely to overstimulate plants in the way that a commercial fertilizer or compost would do.

Wood chips also require a fungal relationship to break down. This fungal symbiosis then reacts with roots of plants in a form called mychorizae (see image above), which is neither root or fungus, but a whole new organism benefiting both. Fungal growth also inhabits the niche that weeds like to grow in.

In other words, more fungal activity in soils equals less weeds!

Mulching 101

Mulching with coarse woody debris protects trees from mechanical damage, mitigates soil temperature and moisture extremes, and helps build soils. Here are some tips to mulch properly:
  1. Avoid mulching the trunk of trees. (See the diagram above)
  2. Mulch as wide an area as possible.
  3. The best mulches are full of organic coarse debris, like arborist wood chips.
  4. Get rid of turf and weeds by sheet mulching.
  5. Mulch thick -4 inches deep - to inhibit weed growth.
That's about it - if you need wood chips in the Omaha area please contact us, American Arborist would be happy to provide them for you.

Career Opportunities

American Arborist is actively seeking help for the 2010 season. Any interested persons should apply to dsundermeier@gmail.com. Submit your resume, references, and skill sets.

Spring 2010

Did your trees get damaged by the ice and snow this winter? Contact us for consultation and FREE estimates. Don't wait until the snow melts to contact us! We are lining up our jobs in preparation for the nice weather.