“Volcano mulch.” Been seeing quite a bit of it lately while walking around. Volcano mulch is mulch that is piled up deeply around a newly planted tree. Although this might look aesthetically pleasing, it can cause butt rot and rooting issues as well. Mulch is great, but try to lay on no more than 2 or 3 inches. The first major root or root flare should be near the surface. If you dig down & still see bark beneath either mulch or soil, then the tree is too deep. These are mistakes I used to make, but now try to avoid after seeing the consequences. 

Mulch placed too deeply beside trunk can cause rotting
Digging beneath mulch reveals bark is beneath surface instead of roots

May the forest be with you,

Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association