How much mulch is too much mulch?

Does this bother anyone else but me?


Mulch volcanos.

They’re everywhere.


Are they really necessary?

This much?


Don’t get me wrong.   I am a big fan of mulch.

To me, a flower bed without mulch is like uncombed hair or a badly wrinkled shirt.  It’s still my flower bed, it just looks unkept.

But this??

This is equal to having bouffant hair or wearing 5 shirts at once.  It just doesn’t look right.

I’ve read time and time again that mulching this much around trees will suffocate the roots and the tree will die.  I have driven through this particular neighborhood for fifteen years and every year a tree or two succumbs from something.  Is it from the mulching madness of landscapers?


A tree used to live here

I’m asking you, does this look right?


Or this?


Please, if there are any mulchologists in the crowd, enlighten me.

Thank you, thank you very mulch.

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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13 Responses to How much mulch is too much mulch?

  1. Peter says:

    Too much mulch is malicious, malodorous, muderous, and mean. Makes trees moody and miserable. How much wood did the woodchuk chuck to make these trees so out of luck? I’m no mulchologist, or mulch of anything else for that matter but I’ve heard the same thing you mentioned and agree that this mulch is too much mulch.


  2. I do believe I’ve read somewhere, too much mulch is worse than none.


  3. I’m with you on this one – it’s unhealthy for the tree AND it looks stupid…
    While we’re at it, can we call for an end to mulch that’s been dyed Traffic-Cone Orange?


  4. I’m with you… I don’t understand why people do that or why they think it looks good? and it most definitely kills the trees!


  5. Cheryl says:

    Oh, yes, the odious mulch volcano. It’s my understanding that you really have to bury the whole root system about a foot deep in mulch to be harmfully overmulching. The real problems with mulch volcanoes are, one (certainly), aesthetic and, two, mulch piled up against the bark invites insects and nibbling rodents.


  6. Yes, that drives me CRAZY when innocent young trees are buried alive in mulch (ok, partly buried). My understanding is that the tree has to be planted so that the root flare is showing, otherwise you are ensuring an early death. Also, mulch should NEVER be placed up against the tree itself. Instead, it should be laid in a ring a few inches from the base of the tree.


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