Hi! I'm Scott Reil on behalf of expertvillage.com I would like to talk to you about tree and shrub maintenance. Mulching is one of the most important things that you could do to help maintain your garden beds. It works on several levels first it helps keeps weeds down by creating a environment that is not really great for weeds to root into and secondly it helps to maintain moisture in your beds by creating a barer when the water seats through it, it helps keep the heat of the day off and reflexes a lot of the heat back out so your water is not just evaporating. Now there is a lot of different mulching out there lets talk about a couple of them one that I see a lot out there is the soil called red ceder mulch it is not really red and it is certainly not ceder. It is usually chipped off pallets often oak pallets sprayed with food dye. So the food dye washes out and you want to replace it because the color is not right so you put another layer on there meanwhile it is hard wood so it is not rotten down into the soil and that is because it actually requires nitrogen to run on down and that's the stuff we are trying to feed out plants. So this mulch is actually competing with your soil with your plants for the nutrients and the soil not a good call. I like soft wood mulches they break down easily, they become very fungal soil components and they are incorporate on a ready bases so you replace them from year to year without getting a build up on top of your soil. It eventually dries your soil out and chokes out. This year I'm using ceder mulch and there is a good reason for that we have what is called a artillery fungus up here on the north east and you would find it more and more in badly compost in turn mulches. Your artillery fungus shoots little dots all over the side of your house or your car or another bright object and these things turn into cement. You can do get it off with anything short of a razor blade and on your house or car finish well that is just a lot of damage. So cider mulch helps keeps the artillery fungus from happening that is why we are using this year. Mulch is easily done, I like bulk mulch cause it comes inexpensively and we just scatter it down a little bit not to thick a layer especially when we're just putting it down over last years layer we just want to spread a thin layer to add some color. Now you can over mulch and you can start to get mulch build up, your plants will let you know they would start to look dry and not do terribly well. Another thing it is especially important to remember mulching around trees and shrubs you want to come into the base of the plant but not cover up the base of the plant with the mulch you call those mulch volcanoes and it is one of the biggest tree killers out there. So remember a mulch can be your friend when it is used correctly but be careful out there with it our you can hurt your trees and shrubs.