Why Your HOA Board Should Be Talking About Mulching Around Trees
Trees: they’re associated with hugging, nature, life itself – and with good reason. The environmental, societal, and economic impact of these shade-giving, oxygen-producing plants is enormous. And tree mulch? It turns out that small, 2-4 inch pile of matter surrounding the base of the trees on your landscape can be one of your trees’ closest allies, and one of your best defenses against threats to their health – and your irrigation bill.
Why are Trees so Important to our Homeowners Associations?
The beauty and serenity of being surrounded by trees can be awfully romantic, but their benefits are far-reaching and quite tangible.
In addition to the fact that trees produce life-giving oxygen and increase air quality, they provide incredible benefits like temperature-reducing (and energy bill-reducing) shade, barriers against runoff from storm water, and great economic impact. Trees store rainwater throughout their root systems, branches, and leaves, thus replenishing moisture in the ground. They often only need watering three to four times a month (particularly when native and drought-resistant varieties).
And according to the International Society of Arboriculture, “property values of landscaped homes are 5 to 20 percent higher than those of non-landscaped homes.” Trees are a big part of that, and the larger they grow and better they are maintained, the more value they can add to your landscape.
What Exactly Does Mulch do to Protect These Resources?
With an investment this valuable to the well-being of your community – and your HOA’s bottom line – it may be surprising that protecting it can be so simple. Putting mulch around trees, material that can range from wood chips and compost to pulverized rubber, is one of the more beneficial things you can do to keep your trees healthy, as well as reduce watering needs of the tree. It insulates and aerates the soil, slows evaporation, keeps many diseases at bay, and protects from rodents, insects, and “oops!” moments with a weedwhacker.
Getting smart about mulching around trees means protecting one of your HOA board’s most valuable, long-term investments.
There are options to consider, like whether organic or inorganic materials work best for you, and you should understand that poor technique can actually harm your trees, encouraging rot and harm from rodents and insects. It’s worth talking with a professional!