The arborists of Reddit have been united by one increasingly common landscaping issue recently, and users aren’t afraid to vent their frustrations.
You may have seen the problem in your community, too. Have you noticed trees piled up with dirt at the base and settling a few feet up the trunk? If you have, you’ve spotted a mulch volcano.
One Redditor believes they’ve found the daddy of them all, posting a picture to the social media platform of one they described as a “Mt. Vesuvius.”
The image, shared in the r/arborists subreddit, shows an individual sitting next to a tree that is surrounded by a small wooden barrier and piled high with mulch. The roots are spilling out from the bottom of the slightly awkward construction, but the dirt is at least three or four feet high and set up against the tree bark.
“Yikes, that’s going to be an expensive tree to remove when it dies,” another commenter warned.
Some might be creating mulch volcanoes for aesthetic purposes, as seems to be the case here, while others might honestly believe it will help the tree thrive.
But piling up mulch in such a way can be seriously detrimental to a tree’s health. Not only does such a thick layer of the material block access to vital oxygen and sunlight, but the mulch also retains water, and when pressed up against tree bark, it can lead to rot.
Tree bark acts as a sort of armor, protecting the trunk from diseases and invasive insects. If that bark is weak or removed entirely, it’s much easier for these things to enter.
The result could be blackened leaves or the absence of leaves entirely. Eventually, and slowly, the tree could die.
While the real Mount Vesuvius might be a stunning natural phenomenon, mulch volcanoes are anything but.
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