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I recently bought a house and the grounds were professionally landscaped, so all the trees have mulch circles around them of about 6-12 feet in diameter depending on the size of the tree.

Originally these circles were mounds at the base of the containing only mulch and devoid of anything else.

In the last couple of years, grass from the surrounding lawn has started to infiltrate these circles and fill them up.

Should I allow this to keep happening and have grass grow into the area around the trees, or is there a reason to keep grass away from the base of the trees and maintain the mulch mounds?

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Mulch around trees serves a couple of practical purposes:

  1. It prevents you from having to string-trim around the base of each tree every time you mow. This also prevents any damage to the bark from the trimmer.
  2. If you (or a lawn service) use a riding lawn mower, the mulch prevents tire ruts from forming around the tree.

In all cases, the mulch should not look like a volcano but a saucer, with the rim higher than the mulch around the trunk. The mulch should not even touch the bark of the tree (or, at most, just "kiss" it).

So, whether you use mulch or not depends also upon how much work you want to do when you mow.

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