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Old 02-10-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


All commercial buildings have the mulch like a foot high. What's the point?

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:07 AM   #2
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


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All commercial buildings have the mulch like a foot high. What's the point?
Weed control and moisture retention. The more mulch, the less frequent the maintenance rounds/visits.

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:53 AM   #3
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


It's poor landscaping regardless of the reason, unless it's done in areas with little vegetation. If, however, it is done around shrubs, perennials, etc. the roots can retain so much water that the excess mulch is basically suffocating the roots. Old mulch should be removed before new is put down, but that rarely happens.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #4
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


I agree. Good mulch does not have to be 48" thick. Money in it though. I guess some people think it is "a look!?"

It actually can be a hazard. Ever seen wood shavings internally combust? I have. 48" will not do it but will give off steam on a cool morning. I used to grab the horrid power company tree trimmers and ask them to dump a truck full in my yard. If I didn't get to moving it around, it would steam and smoke and potentially catch on fire.

Mulch, at least the layer near the soil, steals nitrogen from the soil. You have to compensate with a simple high nitrogen only fertilizer depending on how much mulch you add for this reason, at least with simple bedding plants.

One of the mulch materials I like the best? Cleaned and washed tire fragments. Available in color. You do not have to lay them on thick. They are easy to rake. They are recycled and they look nice and stay in place since they are heavier than wood chips.

You serve no purpose tilling them into the soil though.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


Many reasons:

1. These landscape companies hire people who know nothing about landscaping or plants.

2. People who hire these services feel like they're getting a good deal b/c more is better.

3. Having the mulch pile high causes the roots to grow towards the top rather than dig in deep into the soil, which is bad during storms.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #6
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


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All commercial buildings have the mulch like a foot high. What's the point?
There is no point. The people performing the work have no idea what they are doing. This errant "mulch volcano" approach is not only degrading to the landscape aesthetics but in fact is detrimental to the trees. Mulch volcanos are a good indication that the wrong landscaper is under contract.

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Old 02-14-2012, 09:22 AM   #7
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1083.html
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


Not ALL landscapers practice volcano mulching. It is definitively bad for the plants and a waste of money.

There are other misguided practices that so-called landscape professionals employ, such as pruning tree branches flush to the trunk, painting pruning cuts with asphalt sealer, planting Bradford Pears, installing plants too close to one another and/or too close to a building... I could go on and on.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


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Not ALL landscapers practice volcano mulching. It is definitively bad for the plants and a waste of money.

There are other misguided practices that so-called landscape professionals employ, such as pruning tree branches flush to the trunk, painting pruning cuts with asphalt sealer, planting Bradford Pears, installing plants too close to one another and/or too close to a building... I could go on and on.
Hi Chris,
What's wrong with Bradford Pears? They're beautiful in the Spring. When I lived in Virginia and we had a hurricane, the poor things were destroyed - the wind just twisted them and they were either terribly deformed or broken - so that's a disadvantage. Most people replanted with some type of newer version of the bradford pear (I forget the name).
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:37 AM   #10
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


Bradford Pears self-destruct just as they are maturing- especially in areas with snow. Many landscapers still plant this cultivar of Callery Pear, well aware of the problems. Other cultivars of Callery Pear that are less prone to breaking apart are 'Aristocrat', 'Cleveland Select', and 'Capital'. While these cultivars are considered sterile, they are quite capable of cross-pollinating with different cultivars and can and do become invasive in disturbed areas such as roadsides and fields.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:15 AM   #11
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


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Bradford Pears self-destruct just as they are maturing- especially in areas with snow. Many landscapers still plant this cultivar of Callery Pear, well aware of the problems. Other cultivars of Callery Pear that are less prone to breaking apart are 'Aristocrat', 'Cleveland Select', and 'Capital'. While these cultivars are considered sterile, they are quite capable of cross-pollinating with different cultivars and can and do become invasive in disturbed areas such as roadsides and fields.
Thanks Chris, that's good info to know!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:58 PM   #12
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


I learned in landscape design school that it's bad to do this and if it is done it's purely for appearance sake. It may look good, but it's bad for your plants.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #13
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


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I learned in landscape design school that it's bad to do this and if it is done it's purely for appearance sake. It may look good, but it's bad for your plants.
But, it doesn't look good. This is why I can't understand why it is done.

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Why do commercial landscapers mound the mulch so high?


I don't think it looks good either and, if it's done by a "professional", it just makes them look like a nincompoop!!

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But, it doesn't look good. This is why I can't understand why it is done.

Wrooster

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