Tree Rings and Mulching

TreeAbility Tree Ring Nick Winram 1

Here are some photos of TreeAbility’s Nick Winram installing a metal tree ring and mulching around a mature magnolia tree.

Tree rings are excellent for mature trees as well as newly planted ones. They help to contain mulch, allow for easier lawn edge trimming, prevent mower and strimmer damage to trees and improve the aesthetics of any tree or shrub bed. As this was a mature Magnolia it had several large surface roots. It would have been too damaging to the tree to sever these roots on both water and nutrient uptake grounds and also tree stability.  In order to fit the ring we carefully excavated around the roots to expose the problem areas, marked the tree ring and cut out root profiles in the metal edging. We left some expansion space around each root as the roots put on annual growth rings in the same way the trunk and branches do.

TreeAbility Tree Ring Nick Winram 2

The tree ring was carefully installed and an unusual organic mulch was added!

TreeAbility Tree Ring Nick Winram 3 Mulch

Mulching is incredibly beneficial to all trees and shrubs. Both newly planted and mature trees benefit from organic mulching. Some of the benefits include; weed suppression causing less competition for water and nutrients, moisture retention, soil temperature regulation ensuring optimal rooting conditions both in hot summer temperatures and freezing winter ones, disease resistance and alleviating compaction through increased earthworm activity.  Mulching also adds nutrients as the organic matter breaks down and minimises mower and strimmer damage. Mulch should be applied 5-10cm thick and be careful not to heap it up around the trunk as the heat as it decomposes can damage the bark. It should be topped up annually as it rots down. Any organic material can be used such as wood chip or bark, but do let coniferous mulch brown off for about 8 weeks before using as it can be slightly acidic. Try to use any mulch fairly fresh though, as if it rots for months all the nutrients leach out into the earth below your pile, instead of into the tree and shrub beds that it will be applied to.