A few members of my team and I just returned from our (almost) annual trip to the Tree Care Industry Association conference and trade show. This year the location was Baltimore, Maryland and the weather and trip were fabulous. We all learned new tips we will be sharing over the next several weeks as time allows.
Given the time of year, I want to share with you some of the information I learned while attending a seminar titled "New Organic Soil Amendments/Mulches for Urban Trees" given by Dr. Bryant Scharenbroch of The Morton Arboretum. Dr. Scharenbroch undertook a study designed to determine the very best way to enhance the beneficial properties of the the soil after modern-day construction practices have left your landscape back-filled and compacted. His ongoing study will continue to offer insight into the very best way to bring your soil "back to life" after construction and offer your landscape plants and trees the best chance of not only surviving, but thriving! To review Dr. Scharenbroch's study, copy and paste the following link into your web browser: http://www.mortonarb.org/urban-soil-science.html.
To summarize, the study demonstrates that the inexpensive practice of consistently applying hardwood and organic mulches to your trees will benefit them both immediately, and in the future, as they try to establish the kind of root system that will allow them to grow, resist disease, survive drought, and reach their full beauty potential. Please continue to add 3-5 inches of nursery mulch, aged wood chips, chopped leaves, composted cow manure or the composted version of any of these to the area beneath your trees every year. Remember that the root system of your trees expands about a foot annually so the more area under your trees that you mulch, the more beneficial is the practice to your trees. Also, NEVER pile mulch directly against the trunk of your trees as this can lead to areas of rot that will allow disease and pests to enter your tree.
Fall is a great time to work in your yard so GET MULCHING!