I keep hearing about using mulch on trees for the winter. What is this mulch? Do I have to make it, and if so, how? Or can I buy this mulch?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
For some kinds of trees and plants, mulching can help protect roots and tender growth. It is particularly helpful in protecting newly planted or young trees and plants.
Full plant mulching, where the whole plant is covered, generally this is done with dry leaves or straw held in place with burlap or chicken wire. This type of mulching is normally only done for newly planted, young trees or for semi-tender perennials that might not survive a particularly bad winter.
Root mulching is normally done with wood chip mulch which you can buy at the store. This is done to protect the roots of plants so that if you have a bad winter, they can die back to the ground, but can regrow from the roots.
Most the vast majority of plants in your yard, mulching is not necessary, but if you have some new plantings or if you have tried repeatedly to grow that should survive but does not, you may want to try mulching.