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City of St. Charles Urban Forestry Management Plan

The mission of this Urban Forestry Management Plan is to outline goals and industry best management practices for the City of St. Charles' urban forest.  The environmental and aesthetic benefits of the tree population will be maximized, while risk and costs are minimized in a financially and programmatically sustainable manner by the year 2040.

Tree Care: Proper Mulching

Wood Mulch is a good source of nutrients and protection for your tree.  Once a year the mulch should be turned and new mulch added as needed.  Mulch should be applied from the drip line toward the trunk.  If this is not practical, minimum mulch circles should be 1.1 feet for small trees, 3.3 feet for medium trees and 9.9 feet for large trees.  As beneficial as mulch is, too much can be harmful.  The recommended mulching depth is 2 to 4 inches.  Mulch should not be piled up around the base or against the trunk of trees.  This is called a "mulch volcano".  

Tree Care: Watering Trees

Trees grow best when soils are moist to a depth of six inches. As a rule of thumb, it takes one inch of water to wet six inches of soil. Most of our soils have a lot of clay so they are very slow to absorb water (0.1 to 0.25 inches per hour). Contrary to popular belief, running the sprinkler system on your lawn won’t give your trees the water they need. It’s best to take a drip or soaker hose and coil it under the drip line of the tree. Turn the hose on and let it run for 20-30 minutes.

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