When performed correctly mulching is one of the most effective practices to maintain plant health, (Please, No Volcano Mulching). Trees that are properly mulched are more vigorous and have higher rates of survival, than those covered with turf grass. Mulching beneath your treesand shrubs will help retain soil moisture, moderate temperature extremes, add organic matter back into the soil, reduce soil compaction and erosion. A mulched area will have fewer weeds and can also beautify your landscape by covering areas of bare dirt, or unsightly surface roots! Ideally a good mulch bed should extend out at least 3 feet in all directions from the trunk of newer plantings and as far out as practical or preferably closer out to the edge of where the branches of trees crown extend, as they become larger.