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Homeowner stunned after digging into landscaping feature to rescue tree: 'What was the previous owner thinking?'

"Hang in there!"

"Hang in there!"

Photo Credit: iStock

Some trees can live for hundreds — and in certain cases thousands — of years, but there have been times when humans have made things difficult for them.

A homeowner came across one such case and shared how they were subsequently stunned when they dug further into the issue to rescue the tree. 

"Mulch volcano removal update, it is actually dirt and gravel," they wrote on Reddit in the subreddit r/arborists, posting an image of a seemingly mature tree whose lower trunk had been smothered in mulch containing significant chunks of rock. 

"Hang in there!"
Photo Credit: Reddit

"What was the previous owner thinking?" they added, noting there were also "pointless" plastic rings sitting on top. 

"Oof... that's surely got to be harder to move around than if it was just soil, ugh," another Redditor commiserated

Mulching is good for trees when done right with organic materials. As detailed by Utah State University, the practice helps them soak up nutrients in the urban world by mirroring the natural conditions of forest floors, which are covered with debris such as leaves, twigs, and dead flowers. 

Volcano mulching, on the other hand, can cause the roots of trees to grow up and around the mulch rather than into the ground, weakening the plants and often leading to their deaths

In addition to being well-known stress reducers, trees are our allies in regulating Earth's temperatures.  

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, a plot of mature trees roughly the size of a football field soaks up "the amount of [carbon dioxide] produced by a car driven 26,000 miles," while just one of them can absorb at least 48 pounds of the planet-warming gas. 

Trees also protect biodiversity by providing food and shelter for wildlife, and their shade can help prevent the formation of dangerous heat islands in urban environments. 

Other Redditors were clearly on board with the efforts to save the tree, and they offered further encouragement as the OP continued with the arduous rescue mission.

"Your tree will love you for the work you are doing so hang in there!" one person wrote.

"On behalf of the trees, I thank you," said another.  

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