Trees love mulch, if applied correctly. Homeowners and professional arborists depend on mulch in landscapes for several reasons. Functionally, mulches discourage weeds from growing, conserve moisture during drought periods, and allow better use of water by controlling runoff and increasing water-holding capacity of light, sandy soils. Mulch rings also decrease competition from lawn grass. Lawn grass, especially when lush, robs trees of valuable nutrients and moisture.
Many organic materials can be used as a mulch. Bark mulches and wood chips are the two most commonly used mulches. Most arborists consider organic mulches as the most compatible with trees. There are, however, several inorganic materials used as mulches.