Wanted: Celeb to champion the cause!
What do volcano mulching, Smokey and Teddy have in common?
Two places to find out:
Concerns Issue #563
For a lot more about the devastating effects of this very wrong,
but very prevalent style of mulching trees, see
What's Coming Up Issue #136.
If you take to task a volcano mulching culprit, keep in mind
that a tree's problems may trace to other factors. Or a tree
mulched that way for some time may be so far gone that it will NOT
be saved if you level its volcano.
If you convince someone to remove the volcano from a tree and
the tree continues to struggle, or it dies, your good work will be
undone. The culprit will go back to his/her former ways, telling
others of you, "Don't listen to that one!"
Volcano mulching eventually rots the bark on a tree, which then
dies of butt rot, or snapping off at that weakened area. Butt rot
may first show itself as general failure to thrive. Then one hot
summer day the tree's foliage will collapse and that will be
If butt rot is already underway when you flatten a volcano,
don't expect much of the tree.
Trees that are volcano mulched may be planted improperly, too.
Planted too high or too deep, or with a cage, cords or burlap in
place, a tree may
waste away. Its own roots may have been curled 'round its trunk
while in the pot, and proceed to girdle the trunk or other roots. As
these problems continue, the tree in its weakened state may
contract all kinds of maladies and attract all kinds of pest
(More on gidling roots in What's Coming Up issue 49.)
What to do? Pull the mulch away and check the bark for proper
color and adherence to the tree. Look for a flare --evidence the
tree is planted at the right level. Look for wire cage, cord or
burlap poking up in the root zone. Check for obvious girdling
roots. Do what you can to correct those problems, too.
Just so you know!