Mulch height around tree trunk

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Old 06-30-18, 06:15 PM
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Mulch height around tree trunk

Did major re-grading of my backyard.... finished with the new top soil and now I want to put mulch around a few plants and smaller trees (6 ft tall cherry trees).
Because I have now higher ground level....my only concern is that the addition of mulch will cover the part of trees and plants which were previously exposed.
Could that cause some sort of disease to the bark and then the tree stem ?

I really don't want to dig a hole around the tree just so I can put mulch in there

thanks
 
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Old 07-01-18, 03:40 AM
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Should keep the ground line the same for trees, if raised with dirt it can kill them.

Layers of mulch around the base of the tree is good to keep moisture in but keep depth reasonable, I try for 4-6" to keep weeds out.
 
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Old 07-01-18, 06:58 AM
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Yes, same level as before....start your mulch one foot away from the trunk. Did you raise the soil level under your trees... from the trunk out to the drip line ?
 
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Old 07-01-18, 09:04 AM
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yeah...I think almost 1 inch higher than it was before (the soil level).
Does it mean I should dig around the tree? But that would allow for the water to pool....
 
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Old 07-01-18, 09:32 AM
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An inch of dirt will not be an issue.
 
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Old 07-01-18, 10:41 AM
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but now I want to pile up 3 inches of mulch on top of the soil..... so this is my concern...I never done mulching so not sure if there are any rules about how high the mulch could cover the stem of a tree / plant /
 
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Old 07-01-18, 03:26 PM
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Mulch around trees and such should be doughnut shaped. Higher around the outside edge (3-4" or even more since it will compact) and no more than an inch directly around the trunk and 3-4" away from it.
 
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Old 07-01-18, 08:28 PM
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Gunguy45 - thanks so much ! This helps a lot.... now I have a clear view of how to do it and with your description I don't think I need to be concerned.
In this case I will have about 2 inch of the tree trunk covered vs. what was previously above the ground level (1 inch due to the new top soil + 1 inch of mulch immediately at the base of the tree)

I assume this should be OK ??
 
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Old 07-02-18, 02:46 AM
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You really don't want any of the trunk that used to be above ground to now be below ground level. Loose mulch isn't so bad, but the above ground bark isn't the same as what develops below ground when the tree is planted.

Ideally I'd treat it almost like planting a new tree. and scrape some of the new soil back down to the original surface. It may even wash away somewhat on it's own over time.
See the pictures here for best practices. Galbraith's Planting Instructions Page
 
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Old 07-02-18, 04:09 PM
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Tree trunk should be uncovered....NO new soil and new mulch for a one foot circle around the trunk.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 11:41 AM
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You failed to mention where you live and your soil type. I live in the deep south, and have between 8-18" of pure sand over clay. I am constantly having to add soil to the live oak trees around my house because of erosion, which is exposing roots. If your situation is the same, you may be able to raise the soil level around your trees without a problem. In addition, all trees are not the same when it comes to bark exposure/soil level. I would research your trees specifically by type for this information before proceeding.
As to the other posted comments, keep in mind that in any forest, the ground level is CONSTANTLY raising from dropped leaves decomposing and adding to the soil. If this was an issue, we would have no old-growth forests.
I live in the middle of thousands of acres of live oak and pine forest, and the soil bed is several FEET thick from this natural decomposition of leaves, and the trees are thriving, some of my live oaks are nearing 700 years old. If build-up around their trunks was an issue, they would have died long long ago.
As stated before, do research on your specific type of tree, and what is recommended for your soil type, yearly rain levels, and so on. Contacting a local arborist would be a shortcut if you can find one in your area.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 12:29 PM
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If build-up around their trunks was an issue, they would have died long long
Of of all the trees/shurbs/perinaials that I have buried with wood chips over the last 40 years with no effect, an inch of soil and or a few inches of wood chips is not going to do anything negative to the tree, lets just move on!
 
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