[NAFEX] Mulching fruit trees.

Jwlehman at aol.com Jwlehman at aol.com
Sun Apr 9 12:02:49 EDT 2006

Jim wrote:
   I mulch with pine needles.  They rot slowly.  If they were half rotten or
ineffective, I'd know it and would not have bothered to post.

Hi Jim,

I really question the effectiveness of your mulch. Maybe too shallow. 

I too have seen what the another writer wrote that they have seen frost under 
their trees in their mulch well after all other frost is gone. I have used 
chipped material from tree removal service (they bring it to me free) about 6 
inches thick around my small seedling persimmons and pawpaws to keep them from 
heaving out of the ground in late spring due to freezing and thawing. I've dug 
down and seen it holding frost, reducing heaving of the young seedlings right 
out of the ground. It works for sure for that purpose.

I firmly believe 6 to 10 inches of wood chips could delay early spring bud 
break with certain tree species and Aprocot could be one. Wood is a wonderful 
insulator. Chips allow water to drain down through helping keep it relative free 
of saturated water helping hold the chips insulative value. I suspect it 
would even be better if applied dry in late winter while frost is still in the 

Of course mulch should be kept at least 6 inches from the bark to prevent 
mouse & vole damage to the bark.

I'm going to start another discussion thread, Genetic control of early bud 


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