Proper Landscaping and Mulching Around Trees

The Galesburg City Arborist would like to remind citizens of the proper methods to landscape and mulch around trees. There are many benefits of placing mulch around trees, but the improper use of mulch and landscape beds around trees can cause harm to trees. Examples of correct and incorrect mulching and landscaping around trees can be found in Galesburg.  
Mulch helps reduce soil moisture loss, helps control weeds, protects roots, can improve soil condition, biology and fertility, and helps reduce the likelihood of damage to the tree. Mulch should be applied in a 2 to 4 inch thick layer around a tree. A layer of organic mulch can mimic a more natural environment for the tree and improve plant health.
Improper mulching can have a negative impact on a tree’s health, too much mulch is not good.  Mulch, dirt and other materials should never be placed against the tree trunk. Piling mulch against the trunk can stress stem tissues and lead to insect and disease problems. Landscaping around trees should be carefully planned. Digging or grading within the root zone of a tree can damage tree roots and adversely affect the tree’s health. Building up the area around a tree and adding lawn edging or retaining wall stones may look nice, but could very well be causing significant damage to the tree. 
The International Society of Arboriculture has developed standards for better tree health. For proper tree care citizens are encouraged to visit their web site at:  
Citizens are also reminded that a permit is required for planting trees or landscaping on the street right-of-way, terrace area, in front of their homes.
For additional information call the City Arborist, Ryan Creek at 309-345-3692, or the Director of Parks and Recreation, Larry Cox at 309-344-3140. 


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