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Using a bark chip mulch around young fruit trees


We've put a layer of chip bark mulch around our new fruit trees, but a neighbour has said this is wrong and we should remove it, is that correct?

Asked by: Sarah from Maidstone, 10-Jan-2022


We recommend mulching around young fruit trees, as it helps retain moisture. It also keeps grass away from the base of the tree, which would otherwise compete for water and nutrients.

However, don't let the mulch reach right up to the stem - leave a clear space.

The main issue with wood chip mulch is that if used in very large quantities it can acidify the soil as it decomposes, and this is particularly a problem if the wood chips are pine or other resinous species. But a small quantity of deciduous wood chips is fine and beneficial.