One Redditor posted on the r/marijuanaenthusiasts subreddit — a community dedicated to fans of the woody plant rather than the slang for “trees” — a photo of a tree that cracked at the base and lay horizontal.
“My tree fell over. Did it rot from a disease?” they asked.
Several commenters quickly pointed out that over-mulching was the primary suspect of the tree’s literal and figurative downfall.
“Your tree was planted too deeply and improperly mulched. This is an extremely common issue and yours is a typical outcome,” one user wrote. “When a tree looks like a telephone pole stuck in the ground, it starts the countdown to a much shortened life.”
While covering the roots for aesthetic purposes is questionable at best, there is no doubt that the repercussions of such an act can be fatal for the tree.
Root flare, where the trunk meets the roots, should be exposed so that it remains dry and doesn’t reduce the tree’s ability to intake oxygen. Burying that part of the tree can lead to wet conditions that foster fungal growth and trunk rot or decay.
Proper mulching can add nutrients to the soil and lead to healthier, sturdier trees, yet the practice of volcano mulching remains a common tactic that has led to the demise of several people’s trees.
The counterproductive policy left some commenters bewildered and others amused.
“They fine you if you aren’t killing the tree. Oof,” one user wrote.
“Really? Maybe send em a couple of articles on root flare!” another said.
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.