Yes, friends. It is that time of the year. Time for the annual tirade about mulch volcanoes.
A freshly mulched, landscaped yard declares spring. The right mulch enriches soil, cools plant roots, and helps soil retain moisture. These are good. But mulch volcanoes around trees cause all kinds of problems.
A mulch volcano smothers tree roots. Eventually, bark is damaged starting at the ground and peels from the tree. That lets in insects, diseases take hold, and the story (and the tree) go down hill fast.
Mulch should circle a tree but should not touch the trunk. In fact, the tree flare at the bottom of the trunk should be visible above the roots and ground. It should ALWAYS be visible above the mulch. To be safe, feather the mulch and stop the mulch layer before you reach the tree.
If you love and value your trees, don't let mulch volcanoes erupt in your yard. That is all.