PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s not helping, really. Those mulch volcanoes you see piled up against trees and shrubs are terrible for plants. When mulch is touching tree trunks the bark can rot – and it creates a place where critters can hide to chew on the bark. That can kill a tree – and so can the bacteria and molds that fester with mulch against the trunk.

If mulch volcanoes are so bad, how come so many people do it? I can’t say, but it’s wrong, no matter how often you see it in parking lots.

So, if somebody piled mulch volcanoes around your trees and shrubs, pull it away. If you put down mulch, keep it at least a hand’s length clear of the trunk. And, don’t use too much – 2 or 3 inches is plenty of mulch; any more than that and once the mulch has dried, rainwater will actually run off rather than soaking in! Someone who says you need tall towers of mulch is… probably trying to sell you more mulch.

Reported By Phran Novelli, KYW Newsradio

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