Mature Tree Preservation

Tree care and preservation can be simple. There are ways that tree owners can avoid damaging their trees just with knowledge on what to do and what not to do.

Preservation of historic, mature, and valuable trees will add value to your property.

Easy Steps to Preserve Your Mature Trees

Identify your tree's critical root zone (CRZ) and avoid cutting the roots within that area. It is common that mulch beds are installed and edging is performed. Edging around the CRZ will cut the absorbing roots that are within the top 12" of the surface.


It is best for the trees to not have anything in and around the CRZ. Vines growing at the base of the tree may be aesthetically pleasing, for example, but vines and other undergrowth take oxygen from the tree and compete for water.


Avoid compaction of the soil within the CRZ. Do not, for example, build a large shed or patio within the CRZ.


Watering your trees during drought periods is important, especially with mature trees.

However, trees can be damaged by overwatering as well. There are methods to calculate the amount of water a tree needs depending on it age, species, and DBH of the tree. It is best to consult an Arborist to make this calculation.


One of the most common mistakes is to overmulch. Overmulching around the base of trees can create root rot and hold moisture, which will introduce insect and diseases.


The purpose of mulch is to retain soil moisture, moderate soil temperatures, and naturally fertilize the tree for the feeder roots. 


Placing mulch against the trunk does not help the roots. Remove mulch that is placed against the trunk of the tree, spread the mulch out in a thin layer to under the drip line of the tree no more than 1 to 3" deep.

"Mulch Volcano"

Overmulching could potentially strangle the tree's roots and make it susceptible to decline in extreme weather conditions (hot or cold). This could be a stressor that leads to another stressor such as insects and diseases.