University of Maryland Extension

Mulch Application Best Practices

The key to good tree health, resilience and long-term sustainably is very much tied to good mulching practices.  Throughout Anne Arundel County it is all too common to see mulch applications in conical or volcano shaped mounds.  This routinely accepted landscape practice, while aesthetically appealing to some, is unnatural and can be very damaging to tree health. 

The purpose of the Mulch Education Project is for Master Gardeners to develop educational materials, write articles, offer presentations and demonstrations to educate the public about mulching best practices.  The project will also provide information about techniques to mitigate the damage to trees caused by improper mulching.  Outreach will be conducted at libraries, farmers markets, garden clubs, homeowners associations, environmental organizations and other public venues to engage individuals, neighborhoods, congregations, schools, private and governmental entities in the support of tree planting and stewardship.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with other county Master Gardening Volunteer projects and with Anne Arundel County’s Watershed Stewards Academy’s Replant Anne Arundel Tree Trooper Program.  As the project evolves, outreach efforts will hopefully extend to professional landscapers and the nursery industry. 

Upcoming workshop:

February 27:
Master Gardeners: Mulch Matters and Gardening For Birds
Master Gardener Virtual Workshop
11:00-12:30 AM

Gather 'round the computer for a Zoom presentation on Saturday February 27 from 11am to 12:30pm. Mulch Matters is a new PowerPoint topic from the AA County Master Gardeners given by Annie Hillary. We'll find out about types of mulch and how to avoid slow tree death by "mulch volcano." Then Virgil Davis' PowerPoint will give you tips on welcoming birds into the garden by planting flowers and trees that birds crave. Before you know it, birds will be flocking to your garden for food and shelter.

For more information about mulching:

2013 Mulch Selection Guide

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2021. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.