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On April 5th, five billboards went up around Northeast Ohio with the message - TOO MULCH OF A GOOD THING - Save Money, Save Trees, Don't Volcano Mulch!

Locations of these billboards can be found here.

Thousands of trees are planted each year. Planting a tree is one thing, but successfully growing a tree is another. 

Often, trees are planted too low where the critical root flare is buried and/or soil and mulch is piled around the base of the tree.

What is a root flare and why is it important?

The root flare is the area of the tree where the trunk meets the roots and the supporting roots emerge. It is a critical part of the tree that needs to be visible for oxygen exchange. A covered root flare weakens the trunk of the tree, encourages girdling (choking) roots to grow around the trunk, and leaves the trunk wet so it is vulnerable to infections and diseases.

What happened?

We wish we knew! It wasn't always this way. Over the last 5-10 years the mulch volcano has emerged onto our landscape. There is no reason for these mulch volcanos and frankly, they must be stopped. Trees provide myriad benefits and if they are treated like this, their life is cut short and they aren't able to provide the benefits we desperately need. It is a waste of time, resources and money. In 10 years or less, many if not all of these trees will need replaced.

Make sure when you plant a tree or hire someone to plant a tree, that it is done properly. For more information on how to plant and care for a tree, click here

Click here for the Let the Flare See the Air presentation by NEO PIPE partnering organization, Cuyahoga SWCD. 

Funding for these billboards was provided by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, a member agency of NEO PIPE.

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