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How to Mulch Around Trees: Spread Evenly!

Proper mulch care, courtesy of Madison Tree Care and Landscaping

Volcano Mulching (BAD) versus Proper Mulching (GOOD). Image courtesy of Madison Tree Care and Landscaping

It is ideal to apply a 2”-to-3” layer of mulch around a tree that extends out to its drip line. This layer of mulch does a few things including:

  • Prevents weeds
  • Retains moisture
  • Maintains consistent soil temperatures
  • Provides a nice buffer between equipment (mowers, weed wackers, etc) and tree trunks
  • Gives a finished look to the landscape

"B'ah! I'm suffocating!" says the tree trunk with volcano mulchingHowever, take care not to cover the base of the tree’s trunk and its root flare with mulch. The sapling in this photo was not mulched properly. It was “volcano mulched,” meaning the mulch was piled in a volcano shape right up to the bark of the trunk. If you pile mulch against the trunk, it will hold moisture there and may lead to root rot. It can also lead to the tree sending up secondary roots, which are weaker roots that will likely get zapped by the sun, frozen by frost, or strangle the tree.  Not good. If you want to meet someone who hates volcano mulching with a passion, meet Ken Druse, a guru of gardening who has tons of tips to help you flourish in your landscape.

"Ahh, my trunk can breathe," says the saplingInstead, mulch your trees starting a few inches out from the trunk out to the drip line or beyond, as far as an 8-foot diameter. The root system of the tree extends far beyond its drip line. In a forest, that entire system benefits from naturally-occurring mulch.

Also, if you have old mulch around your trees, it may need to be raked to ensure it’s not matted. Otherwise, if it’s thick and matted water and air may not be able to seep through to the tree’s root system. Mulch that’s matted can also become weed-ridden.

AFTER - mulch spread around mature treesBEFORE - mulch ready to be spreadOrganic mulches usually need to be replenished a few times a year to ensure the right depth of mulch (roughly 3 inches) protects and nourishes your trees.

Check it out: In this video these guys identify mulch volcanos that are suffocating/disabling the trees, and save a few by removing a primary layer of mulch, then airblasting away the extraneous mulch, trimming away the secondary root structure, and re-applying a 2” layer of mulch (not next to the trunk!) and out to the drip line.

BONUS: Need tips on how to plant your trees or shrubs?

See our easy 4-step diagram to planting trees and shrubs.

The Behind-the-Scenes Magic of Making a Pallet of Product!

behind-the-scenes of making a pallet of productEver wonder how pallets of gorgeous soil and mulch products get made?

We went behind-the-scenes to share the process.  “With a flip, flop, and quality control stop,” see the steps of making bagged soil and mulch products.

Focus on Connecticut: Landscaping Products and Organics Recycling in 4 Convenient Locations, with 3 Simple Steps

Mulch, Compost & Topsoil

special delivery by HarvestAre you scrambling to get a good Mother’s Day present? (And if you are a mother, have you considered getting yourself your own present?) Consider the gift of simple gardening! We know, it might sound random, but spreading a 2-3” layer of mulch now will spare you hours of weeding later in the season. If you want to dig deeper, high-quality soil blends will also bring a bountiful harvest later in the season.

Harvest New England produces the high-quality landscaping products you want at four convenient CT locations. Quality mulch selections, rich organic compost, enriched topsoil and custom soil blends can be picked up at any of our locations.

Yard Waste Disposal & Organics Recycling

Is a Spring Clean Up still on your horizon? Need yard waste recycling or wood and stump grinding services? We recycle organic materials like logs, branches and tree limbs, leaves, brush. We’re also your resource for food waste composting. Bring your yard waste to any of our locations in Connecticut for fast service. Harvest brings decades of organics recycling management experience to serving the “green” landscaping needs of homeowners, businesses, and municipalities.

 

Get a Price Quote for Mulch, Compost or Topsoil

placing an order online FIRST, TELL US WHAT YOU NEED. Go to our contact page and request a quote. If you have a specific project in mind (leveling the yard, topdressing the lawn, mulching the landscape, installing raised beds) feel free to share! We love to hear more about how our products are being used. If you have a question about our products, ask away!  We’re happy to answer your questions.

order delivery - confirmation over phoneSECOND, WE CONFIRM THE DELIVERY DETAILS WITH YOU. We’ll give you a call (or email) back within 18 hours – usually sooner – and verify your order details and payment information.  If you have any question marks we can often help you figure out how much you need, and which products will make the most sense for your needs.

place an order - deliveryTHIRD, THE DELIVERY GETS SCHEDULED. Our policy is to dump on the driveway or just off the edge with the tires on the driveway.

 

NOTE! When scheduling a delivery there are a few important things to consider. Dump trucks are not made to drive on lawns or off of obvious roads; lawn damage almost always occurs. Also, they need to be on level firm ground in order to dump without tipping over or sinking into a lawn. Just because a cement truck got to a location does not mean a dump truck can get to the same spot. Always have an alternate dumping spot available. Our drivers are experienced professionals. It is their responsibility to alert you to possible dangers and hazards. It’s also your responsibility to alert them to obstacles, sink holes, septics, and such. Be aware of tree limbs, overhead wires and roof overhangs. During wet weather a dump truck can crack the edge of a driveway. It is our driver’s final decision whether or not they can dump in the desired location. Any instruction by the customer to dump elsewhere (not on the driveway or just off the edge with the tires on the driveway) will be the customer’s responsibility for any damage.

Videos of Your Favorite Mulches in New England

Watch Videos of Your Favorite Mulches, Available in New England Connecticut – Delivery Too!

Sometimes the best part of gardening is dreaming and planning. For all of you getting geared up to transform your landscape, here’s a summary – with videos – of our most popular mulches offered by Harvest New England out of Connecticut sites in Farmington, Fairfield, Ellington and Wallingford.

EcoMulch
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Eco Mulch is a great all around mulch that is the perfect alternative to conventional bark mulch. It is a natural product that has been made from double ground and composted brush and yard trimmings. Decorative, easy to spread and very beneficial for both soil and plants.
Northwoods Bark
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Available only in our Fairfield location. A True Premium Bark Mulch. An especially attractive blend of Pine, Fir, and Hemlock from Northern New England. Looks and smells great. Maintains its color better and lasts longer than other natural mulches.
Pine Blend
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One of our most popular mulches. Easy to spread. An unbeatable combination of quality and value. Our special blend of Northern New England bark and aged ground softwoods makes it darker than our Northwoods Bark.
Hemlock Mulch
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We carry a 100% Natural Hemlock. Straight from Northern New England. A beautiful reddish hue distinguishes this hard to find mulch.
Brick Red Mulch
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We start with clean ground wood and then color it to a rich, red hue using a non-toxic, natural colorant. Adds a dramatic and long-lasting color statement to your landscaping.
Ultra Brown Mulch
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Our most popular colored mulch. Generously dyed with a non toxic colorant. It holds its color longer than traditional mulches and features a consistent natural brown look. Most customers who visit our yards end up choosing Ultra Brown.
Midnight Black Mulch
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Midnight Black looks great when you put it down and stays looking great. This colorized mulch provides great contrast for colorful plantings. If you’re looking for a dark mulch this is the mulch for you.
Fine Grind
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A shredded and screened composted mulch that is easy to spread. Twice as fine as our standard mulch, it breaks down quickly adding valuable nutrients to the soil. If “mulch build-up” is an issue this is the mulch for you.
Canadian Cedar Mulch
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100% Canadian Cedar. This brown mulch is superior in its resistance to decomposition and ability to repel insects.
Red Cedar Mulch
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A colorized version of our Canadian Cedar. Great texture and color with all the benefits of Cedar.
Playground Carpet
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Ground virgin wood chips for use under playground equipment. Also used for walking paths.This untreated mulch is safe for children and pets, of course.
Green Peet
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Green Peet is wood fines formally used in horse bedding that has been naturally aged. It is a rich dark chestnut color with a fine consistency that is easy to spread. Use it in the same manner as other peat products to enhance the garden.

Inspired?  Contact us today for a quote.

Black Mulch with BiGro™ Adds “Tidy, Finished Look” to Landscape

bigro black mulch on landscapeWe recently received photos from David of his lovely landscape in Virginia. Taking advantage of the balmy springtime weather, David and his wife used 85 bags of Black Mulch with BiGro™ to add a “tidy, finished look” their front entrance and landscaping.

They are anticipating a hot summer, and figure the mulch will help moderate temperatures for the plants, retain moisture and of course suppress weeds! David described the bags as “a clean and convenient option” for this project.

Looks great, and thanks for sharing!

bigro black mulch IMG_2202

The rich black color provides a nice accent to the landscape.

 

Mulch Deliveries – They’re Easy!

how to order mulch 250x250Anyone who has ordered bulk mulch will tell you that they love the convenience of the material being delivered to their door or jobsite. Getting bulk mulch delivered is easy: All you have to do is make a phone call. Here are a few common questions and answers to understand the process:

What kind of mulch should I get?

That depends. We’ll help you make your decision. We put lots of videos on our website so you can see the different products. Also, each product has its own page with photos and descriptions. Finally, we can help talk you through your options if you still need support deciding… For orders in Connecticut call 860-674-8855.

How much should I order?

That’s our number 1 question. We have a minimum delivery order of 3 cubic yards. After that, it’s up to you. If you have a specific project in mind, check out our landscape calculator.

Delivery sizes vary: In New England we have small truck which are 6 wheel dump trucks that can carry 15 yards of mulch or 6 yards of topsoil or 9 yards of compost. The next size truck would be a tri-axle, which can hold 35 yards of mulch and compost or 25 yards of topsoil. The largest truck we have is a tractor trailer that can carry 70 yards of mulch!

Nope, you do not need to be home to get a mulch delivery; we can simply deposit the material in the designated spot and leave the receipt for you at your door.

When I call, what information do I need to have available?

When you call we’ll ask you a few basic questions about your order (Which product? How many cubic yards? To what address? Where should it be deposited? And finally: payment information). You will have your garden mulched in no time!

NOTE: This post is relevant for our sites in Farmington, Connecticut (serving Greater Harford, West Harford, Avon, Canton, Bristol, Newington, Simsbury, Plainville, Wethersfield, and Southington); Ellington, Connecticut (serving Ellington, Somers, Stafford Springs, Tolland, Rockville, Broad Brook, Enfield, East Windsor, South Windsor, Windsor Locks, and the Greater Hartford and Springfield areas); Fairfield, Connecticut (serving Fairfield, Trumbull, Westport, Weston, Easton, Wilton, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford, Darien, Stratford, Milford, and Fairfield County); Wallingford, Connecticut (serving Wallingford, Cheshire, Meriden, Middletown, North Haven, Hamden, New Haven, Woodbridge, Bethany, Branford and North Branford).

What if I only want a little bit of mulch?

That’s just fine – check out our variety of bagged mulches and find a convenient store near you.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in March 2014; it has been re-posted with permission by the author, Shelley Mulvey, with updated content, availability and links.