Mulching and weeding: why is it important?

Mulching and weeding: why is it important?

Last Edited: 12/04/2017

Mulching and weeding are good practices to get into when caring for both semi mature trees and mature trees. If mulching is carried out well enough and maintained properly, it will make weeding much less laborious. 

What is mulch? 

Mulch is basically a protective layer of organic material spread over bare soil. Bark or wood chips are frequently used as mulch, but other examples of suitable materials for mulching include straw and pine needles. Non-organic materials such as pebbles and even plastic sheeting can also be used. 

Benefits of mulching 

Besides enhancing the beauty of the area, mulching has a number of benefits. One of the top reasons for mulching is that it covers the bare soil and acts as insulation, lessening the effects of very cold and very hot temperatures. This insulating layer of mulch also keeps the number of weeds down. 

Mulch also prevents water evaporating as quickly, keeping the soil moist particularly in hot weather. It helps to stop soil being washed away during heavy rain or compacted due to high footfall. Mulch also helps to protect against damage from garden equipment. 

How to mulch

To mulch around a tree, you need access to the bare soil. This means removing any grass from around the base of the tree trunk. Spread the mulch over the bare soil at least 3 feet around the tree and to a depth of between 2 and 4 inches. Don’t pile the mulch up around the tree trunk as it can lead to problems with diseases and insects. Ideally, you’d keep the mulch from touching the trunk where possible. 

Check regularly that the mulch hasn’t been disturbed and rake over it to level it out. Patches of bare earth will undo your good work, so make sure the soil remains covered. 


Regular weeding around your trees will lessen root competition and help your trees grow as strong as possible. Mulching actually makes the gardener’s life a lot easier as it helps prevent too many weeds growing and weeding will be much quicker.

It's important to pull out any weeds that manage to break through before they grow too big and take up too much of the water and nutrients the tree needs.

Give your trees the best chance at growing strong and staying healthy with regular weeding and a layer of mulch. Your hard work will be well rewarded. Contact us at Todds Nursery for more information and advice on semi mature and mature trees, and ask our team about our aftercare service!