Last time we have talked about sustainable approaches to tree care, emphasizing on the plantation of native trees, sustainable irrigation and fertilization. Since fertilization, protection and preservation of resources are major concern topics, our tree service Peru, IL team decided today to present you with six organic mulch types to hydrate, fertilize and safeguard your trees all year long.

1. Grass Clippings

Before using grass clippings as mulch, make sure you don’t apply too thick of a layer, as the grasses tend to mat together and thus interfere with the soil’s air flow cycle.  Add a thin layer of grass clippings as mulch (under 1 inch) and make sure you mix them with other organic vegetal debris such as shredded leaves or straw.

2. Leaves

Speaking of leaves, make sure you don’t use large leaves or wet ones, as they too tend to mat together promoting mold and interference with the air flow. Dry the leaves and shred them with your mower for better mulch results. Leaf mulch is beneficial for the trees as they contain nitrogen that slowly infiltrates the roots feeding them. However, don’t forget to sprinkle some fresh soil over the leaves layer so they don’t get scattered around in windy days.

3. Shredded Bark

This is perhaps the most popular type of dry mulch for trees and shrubs, being aesthetically pleasant and very useful as means of protection. Bark may be a little too acidic for your soil’s needs and the vegetation you grow, so you can enhance the bark with lime. Before applying this type of mulch have your tree service Peru, IL specialists test the soil to see how much acidity it can take.

4. Sawdust

It is probably better to buy proper sawdust as mulch, as chainsaw sawdust contains oil and you certainly don’t want that. If your sawdust source is reliable, ask your tree service Peru, IL experts help you use it properly. While its light color allows it to reflect heat away from the soil, sawdust tends to clump together and interfere with air flow and nutrients’ absorption. Moreover, depending on the trees it comes from, sawdust can also be more acidic than recommended, so make sure you know exactly what sources you use and how the soil and vegetation will take the extra acid.

5. Seaweed

If you can get your hands on fresh, nutritious mulch-dedicated seaweed you are in luck, as this natural material contains plenty of nutrients and is an excellent insulator. Seaweed unfortunately dries very fast so it needs to be mixed with grass clippings or other organic materials – if it dries it leaves bare spots behind, just in time for weed seeds to sprout. Seaweed is also an excellent snail barrier. The only problem is that you might have to rinse it to avoid having too much salt infiltrated into the soil. Ask your tree service Peru, IL team to make the necessary tests and make sure you don’t go over the board with the salt levels in the soil.

6. Straw

Great to mulch trees and large plantations of ornamentals and shrubs, straw isn’t the best looking type of organic mulch. However, despite its ungroomed, messy look, straw reflects heat away from the soil and contains fewer weed seeds in comparison to hay. If you care more about your trees than the overall look of your landscape, then straw mulch is a wise choice. In case you don’t want to promote a rustic, raw look in your garden, save the straw mulch only for your vegetables.

Ask your tree service Peru, IL team to offer you more details on organic mulches, their uses and benefits this year.