Should this Client Who Wants To Get Pregnant MOVE?


Hi Katie – Hope you’re doing well! I have a feng shui question. I’m about to move and the place has a bath in both the love/marriage and the creativity/children corners. We are starting a family – would that hurt?
The previous tenants moved because their family was growing and she was preggo again…so obviously it didn’t hurt them. I always check the story of the previous tenants to see what kind of energy has been left behind.
What’s your take on something like this?
Thank you so much for your taking the time!



So…without seeing the space…
I told her that it all sounds very auspicious, given that the predecessor energy is right in line with what she wants to create in her life. BABIES!

What’s “predecessor energy,” you ask?

With every consultation, I ask: “Who lived here before you and what do you know about them?”


Because it’s an obvious clue to the energy of the home AND because, unless the space is thoroughly cleared, the energy of those who lived there before you is still there, having a big impact!

For this reason, homes with sickness, divorce, and foreclosure should be super-carefully considered before moving in. (Definitely hire a feng shui consultant for those!) Happy homes, however, may not need as much feng shui work beforehand!

To address the other aspect of her question: Will the bathroom in Romance/Love and Creativity/Children sections of the bagua hurt?

Good Earth  (Source)

I explained that she should make sure that there is plenty of Earth energy in both places in terms of colors (muted tones for Earth), clay items, and the like. Why? Because the Romance/Love section of the bagua is an Earth energy so adding more is good, and because the Creativity/Children section is a Metal energy and Earth feeds metal and also dams some of that Water.

But, truth be told, whatever the people previous to them were doing, it was working, so she may want to keep it just as it was for them!

Like I always say in feng shui: I don’t fix what isn’t broken!

Y’all have a great Friday and weekend. Cheers!


Birmingham Botanical Garden Responds to “Crape Murder” Post

I was privileged to receive an email from the knowledgable Fred Spicer of Birmingham Botanical Gardens on the topic of “crape murder.”  He gives an extremely thorough take on the practice and, while he does NOT advocate it, he has many good points as to why it continues to be “acceptable” in the South.

Get educated and read on!  

Crape Myrtles — photo from Southern Living



Saw your (old) blog post just now on crape murder and thought I would add my two cents.

Believe me, I am with you 100% on strongly advocating against topping trees, and for all the reason you and the ISA list. Interestingly, though, most of those don’t really apply to crape myrtles. Actually, the only two I would say factor into it are ugliness and cost over time. Rapid growth does happen (very rapid) but the resultant branches and branch attachments are not overly very weak (plus their relatively small stature means that wind-throw does not come into play).

No doubt, you have observed countless crapes that have been topped for many years in a row, sometimes hideously. 

We’ve all seen this horrid sight before  (Source)

However, in all the ones I’ve seen treated in this manner, none have been actually “murdered,” in the sense of tree death. No shock and no starvation, either. (Perhaps, more precisely, there’s no evidence of shock or starvation, given the strong re-growth.)

As far as insects and disease go, that seems to be more a result of cultivar selection. The major insect issue – aphids – is not exacerbated by hard pruning. Nor is the major disease issue – powdery mildew. Interestingly, the crapes in one of your BBG images are ‘Carolina Beauty’, one of the most aphid- and mildew-susceptible cultivars going. The presence of the disease, worse in dry years, seems of little relevance to the overall vigor of the trees. At worst it renders the fall color moot (leaves abcise prematurely).

It seems to me that crapes have an unbelievable capacity to form the chemical walls that Alex Shigo identified, which prevent the spread of decay. The most important wall is Wall 4, which prevents decay from moving down into the center of the branch or trunk (into the heartwood). That wall is also, usually, the slowest to form, and pruning angle and branch collar seem to have a lot to do with formation. But, seemingly, not for crapes. Also, it seems that physical wound closure on the crapes happens more slowly, but when you look at the repeated wounding/pruning, there’s just no rot, in any direction. So it’s either rapid chemical wall formation or inherent resistance on the part of the crapes to the resident wood-decaying organisms, and the latter explanation seems ridiculous to me.

Garden writers in the south have spent a great deal of energy and column-space in efforts to dissuade people from this hard pruning. Southern Living ranted about it regularly and I think Steve Bender even coined “crape murder” in an early article. Obviously, all that writing has had little impact on the practice. Most people don’t think it’s as ugly as you and I do, and the argument that topping them will kill them doesn’t hold any water at all. I think if it had, most people would have stopped doing it.

After being here – and working with and observing crape myrtles for almost eleven years now (we did not really have them up north) – I think I can add as to why people do it.

1.) Landscapers that don’t have tons of work in Jan-Feb recommend it (and introduce the customers to it).
2.) Size control (which you mentioned) and a resultant “neatly trimmed” appearance (which some people really do like).
3.) “Everybody does it – must be right”.

And, I think, the most important one:

4.) To get really huge flower panicles.


I believe that is the kicker. Flower panicles on unpruned crapes tend to be rather small. Flower panicles on hard-pruned crapes can be simply gargantuan. Larger panicles will flower longer (more individual florets over time) and many people love huge flowers and almost all gardeners want longer flowering times on their plants.

Personally, I have taken a softer approach on this concept than when I first got here. I still don’t advocate it, and I still think that, in the main, it’s almost always hideous. But I do readily admit the huge flower thing and I tell people that if “crape murder” (for whatever reason they do it) gives them pleasure – go ahead and do it. They’re not hurting the plant.

However, I always follow up that discussion with a strong admonition that just because it doesn’t harm crapes, it does not mean you should do the same thing to other trees. It will certainly do all the bad things you listed. Personally, I think that’s the biggest risk with crape murder…people think it’s okay on this tree…must be okay on all of them.


In natural un-topped form, in winter


Move a Plant, Get a Date

Roots Thru Rocks

I love witnessing Ah-Ha Feng Shui moments of clients.  You know, those magical episodes when they realize:  Holy #@%*!!!  Feng Shui WORKS!

Here’s one recent occasion:
I gave a free teleclass on Romance a couple of months ago and opened the floor to questions at the end.  One lovely lady commented, “I have an ugly air conditioner unit in my Romance section [of the bagua map].  I can’t stand it, but I am renting.  What do I do?  Do I cover it up?  Is this affecting my Romance.”

I responded that this would probably need to be a case where I’d have to see it, but indeed, if the landlord won’t remove it, covering it in some fashion would help alleviate the dread of seeing it every day.  Plus she didn’t want a “chilly” romance, did she?

Alas,  I ran into this lady at a fun event here in Birmingham recently.  She told me of a handsome fellow she had her eye on but that he was being wishy-washy.  (Her words.)  She then said, “But I covered up the air conditioner.  I put a tree in front of it.”

I made a face.

She said, “What was that face for?  Tell me!”


I explained that the Romance section of the Bagua is an “Earth” energy.  Each section aligns with a particular element: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water.  These elements work together, either “feeding” the other, or “damaging” it.

In the case of Earth, Wood damages it.  Think of roots of a tree — they are breaking up the Earth.


So no, plants and trees are not good in the Romance section (in general).

She immediately removed the tree!

And THE NEXT DAY (no lie), he emailed her committing to a weekend-out-of-town HOT DATE that he had been wavering on!!!

My client was beside herself — not only because the date was going to be HOT, but because she was amazed at how quickly the feng shui worked!

She sent me this photo with a text:  [Oh, by the way]…”When I moved the plant I put this double crystal in the corner FYI.”

Yay!  Extra points!  This crystal represents Earth (being a rock) AND it’s signifies a pair, which of course, in romance, is what we want:  a pair.

I asked her:  “Did you set the intention of romance when you placed it?”

She answered with a resounding, “Yes ma’am!”

Fool proof.  Done.

So now:
Check YOUR Romance section!  When standing at the front door to your home, looking in, what is in the back right section?  That’s the Romance section of the Bagua map.  Make sure it’s rocking!  (Pun intended.)


9 Feng Shui Cures to Alleviate Depression

When a client calls complaining of depression, I already have a good sense of what their home is going to look like.  Depression manifests itself in the décor of a home in very specific ways.  The good news is that when you shift items in a space, the psyche takes cues and follows suit.  Therefore, whether you are having a minor bout of the blues, or your depression is more serious, please continue with the therapy, healthy diet, rest, and other “cures,” but use feng shui!  It’s a must to help the process along.

1.     Lighten up, literally.  If the space isn’t getting enough natural light, this could be “keeping you in the dark.”   After all, there is a source of the depression and bringing that into the consciousness will help tremendously!  Open the curtains and windows and let the sunshine in.  Replace fluorescent bulbs with those that mimic natural light.  Bring in mirrors to reflect more light into the home.  Place lamps in those dark corners.
2.     Change the color scheme.  Dark, heavy colors have their place, but too much of it can be affecting you.  Again, go lighter and brighter.  Yellow is the chosen color for “cheerful” for a reason.  Even a pop of it goes a long way!  Avoid too much of “the blues.”  Pick colors that resonate with the buried-deep joy within you, and use those.
 I’m not sure if anyone could be sad in this room!  (Source
3.     Remove heavy items.  Make sure you have a balance of light and heavy to help you feel grounded, but not weighted down.  Even the appearance of a significantly heavy item sends messages to your psyche.  Replace furniture that has that burdensome feel with something fresh, light, and modern to help lighten you up.  Curtains, sofas, coffee table, armoires – it all counts.
4.     Lift items up.  Depressed people tend to collect things low to the ground.  They even hang their artwork too low or have plants that are droopy.  Rehang artwork and buy plants with a more “uplifting” silhouette to keep from feeling “low.” 
5.     Clear the clutter!  This one is the #1 feng shui cure of all time.  Items hold energy.  If a person is keeping significant items that subconsciously remind them of bad times (or even good times if there is a desire to relive the past) or because they are afraid that they won’t manifest something better, it’s going to have a major negative effect on their psyche and their lives. Get really honest with yourself about each and every item in your home, and get rid of anything and everything that you don’t use or love. 
6.     Make sure your furniture fits.  If your furniture is too big for your space, then you don’t have room to grow, and depression could set in.  On the other hand, if the furniture doesn’t fill the space appropriately, it could send signals of “void,” “incompletion,” or “loneliness.”  Rearrange and get rid of!
7.     No dead things.  Dead things (yes, even that flower bouquet you caught at your BFF’s wedding) don’t exactly have the highest vibration, now do they?  Replace with LIFE, and feel the difference.
The live plants and flowers add so much to this already WAY vibrant room (Source)
8.  Assess your artwork.  Weird and dark might be cool, but how is it affecting you subconsciously?  Just don’t do it.  Put it this way:  I don’t care how much a Picasso costs, I probably wouldn’t hang it in my home.  
Just don’t do it.  (Weeping Woman by Picasso Source)
9.     Do the self-work.  Sign up for therapy.  Do yoga. Record your dreams.  Read uplifting books.  Catch yourself in negative thinking.  You must do the work!  They say depression is anger turned inward.  Consider that in a big way and how pointless and destructive that is.  Journal your butt off!  Acknowledge your feelings, and allow yourself to feel them no matter how uncomfortable they may be.  Go through the ugly in order to get to the other side.
Look.  I’m not going to promise that feng shui can “cure” your depression entirely, but it can get you in the right direction, because when you make changes in your environment, especially with the intention of getting to the root of your depression or any other issue, you are sending powerful messages to your subconscious.   Miracles in the form of ah-ha moments, “lucky” synchronistic situations, and full-blown breakthroughs will begin to occur.  There will be moments that make you uneasy and times when you don’t want to clear the clutter or paint the room.  Do it anyway.   Even a teeny-tiny change can shift a person out of the funk and onto a clearer and happier path. 
It’s up to you! 

Creative Storage Idea — Feng Shui Friday!

Storage can happen in unexpected places.  Especially if you are dealing with city-living when there is not much storage space.

Today’s Feng Shui Friday discusses just that.   
A fan who lives in funky cool loft in Montreal asked:  
In a space with little, to NO storage, which part of the bagua is the best place to store stuff?

Here is an example. 
Since I only have a very small closet, I have a pretty awesome collection of vintage trunks, 
I use them to store things I need (and yes, i try not to keep anything I don’t use!)
but that I don’t need daily.

Is it okay to use these trunks?

(Source)  Here’s a fun example that would be GREAT in the Helpful People/Travel section!

All I have to say is:  GENIUS!  Getting creative with you storage issues will make you feel much happier in your space.  In these cases, a pile of suitcases doubles as a table and some secret storage for the things you don’t need every day.
Ahh, white…make it your own personal style!  (Source)

Be warned though:  that that is the key — use this idea ONLY for things you don’t need every day!

Remember when organizing and storing, you want to prioritize.  If you drink tea every morning, you aren’t going to put your favorite tea cup on a shelf where you have to use a stool to get to it right?  No!  You’re going to have it in the front, in the handiest spot ever.

Same notion with ALL of your items.

(The “priority system” was taught to me by my brilliant teacher, Sharon Stasney.  Her book Feng Shui for Work Spaces goes into depth about it and is a great read.)

Mentally label items as Priority 1, Priority 2, or Priority 3 and then place the *1 items in the handiest, easy-to-get-to spots, the *2 items in the next easiest places, and then the *3 items in places such as these trunks, where you may have to remove the decorations on top to get to it.  Ideas might include crafting projects and art supplies that you only use every so often, or perhaps your off-season clothes.  Brilliant, right?

The suitcase storage idea, with its stacks, is definitely a priority 3 area.  Heck, you can even store your tax documents in there!

And to answer her first question…about the bagua — the answer is not so clear-cut.  You just want to pay attention to WHAT you are storing WHERE.  For example, if your love life bites, and you have a bunch of old photographs from your first marriage stored in the Romance section, guess what!  Not a good idea!  Similarly, if you are feel stuck in your Career and you have a ton of glue stored in your Career section, please move to your art section!  (Kind of kidding on that last one, but you get the idea.)

Got it?  Other than that, whatever makes sense aesthetically and logically should be okay as far as WHERE storage should be in the bagua.  

Another great question from an awesome gal!

Feel free to email me with YOUR feng shui questions and I may just choose it for Friday’s discussion.  katierogersfengshui@gmail.com

Cheers!  Enjoy the weekend!


Kid’s Artwork — Clutter Alert!

Here’s today’s Feng Shui Friday dilemma:
Got one for you. What to do with all of the folders of school work which includes first writing samples, art work (some I am sure done by the teacher and not my child) and other work that my kids have compiled from pre school / kindergarten over last 3-4 years. Along with first paintings and other art work —-this takes up a full big shelf of a closet. kids like looking at it still. And I want some of it….but….seriously, at this rate, we will need a garage just for papers.

And here’s my response:
Teaching your children the “art” of letting go is just as important a lesson as any writing, math, or painting lesson!

Here’s what I suggest:
1.  Buy a simple file box or expanding file binder like this:

from Staples

or a portfolio specifically for art  like this:

from eBay

Or get a really plain one, and write their name on it really pretty or let them decorate it with stickers — whatever makes it special for them.

2.  Take an afternoon of fun and go through their art with them.  If you have file slots label them Pre-K, K, 1st, etc.  Let them choose 3 – 5 pieces (yes, three!) from each grade that they love the most.  Then let them give away (mayyybbee) or recycle the rest.  Or make a fun bonfire out of it!  Or if they really and truly seem more attached, let them glue the second-bests to a piece of posterboard for a collage.

3.  For the current grade, they can save more art throughout the year, and/or you can choose to display the most current stuff on a bulletin board or via this adorable DIY found on Pinterest:


Then half way through the year, go back to step 1.

I think you will find that children are less attached to their things than you think.  I mean, think about it — wouldn’t it be sort of annoying if one day your mom came down from the attic and said, “Honey, I kept every art piece, every report card, every little teeny weeny success from your whole life, and here it is.”  I mean, it might be fun to go through for an hour or so, but then what?  You’d be left feeling guilty about throwing it away, and who has room for that stuff!?

We don’t need all these material and physical reminders of who we are and of what we are capable.  Keeping some, perhaps in a creative fashion, is great, but what’s greater — is teaching your children the lesson of non-attachment and that they don’t have to have wonderful art pieces or perfect grades or 100 trophies to be valuable and loved.

Letting go is part of life.  And making choices of what to keep is part of life.  What better place to start than when they are young!


Exposed Beams — Shui or Not Too Shui?

It seems like every grand home these days has exposed beams.  I’m not sure when this came on trend, but it. is. everywhere!

For Feng Shui Friday, someone sent me this pic with the message:  “Is this bad fung shei?  Beams on walls – bedrooms – I love the look!!”  

Here’s the thing:  in general, exposed beams are NOT good feng shui.

I know, I know — it’s cool-looking, it’s pretty, everybody likes it.  Everybody’s doing it.

But see below — these beams have a sharp, dagger-like feel, pointing straight down. Nobody’s going to be sitting on those sofas for very long!


The truth is there are instances where trendy, pretty, funky, and fun, and what’s in vogue in the design world are not the best feng shui.  Beams are one of them.

Here’s why:  They are big and heavy and very prominent in a room (or in the above case, sharp), accentuating the big, heavy, and prominent (or sharp).   Therefore, to our cavemen brain (which is still very much affecting us), they have an oppressive feeling, especially if you are sitting or sleeping under them.  It is a subtle and subconscious thing, but you will feel like “something is hanging over your head” or you’ve got something “bearing down on you.”

This bedroom is especially tricky because the beams are over the bed!  And look — it’s splitting the bed down the middle.  This could signify a “split” in the romantic relationship going on here.


Yikes, and look at this one!  It draws attention to the slanted ceilings.  Please don’t!

So what do you do if you have beams?  Like most everything in feng shui, there are cures.
1.  Bamboo flutes.  This is the traditional cure.  Go here for instructions.
2.  Hang a very large round-faceted crystal on the most damaging beam where people congregate or sleep below.  This will help disperse the offending chi.
3.  Paint the beams the same color as the ceiling to make them “disappear.”
4.  Remodel to have them covered!
5.  Use fabric to soften the blow.

I hope I didn’t crush any hearts with this post, because I know that people love their beams!  But trust me when I say that your subconscious will thank me if you do these easy cures.  Just try it and see if a sense of relief washes over your life.

After all, no one wants to feel weighted down!


Feng Shui Friday — Formal Dining Room

Ah, the formal dining room.  I found this photo on-line, and it spoke to me, so I thought I’d give a little “feng shui assessment” of it for a Friday treat.
Formal dining rooms are not so common these days.  Today, kitchens, dining rooms, and even family rooms blend into one.  I believe that there is a subconscious reason for this super-combo.  We are all so busy that, sometimes, our only time with our families is at meal time, so that parents and spouses and children want to be “with each other” as they cook, play, or watch TV.  I also think that we have created a culture of isolation (i.e. home to car to work to car to errands to the occasional social function to home again), so that these “great rooms” are our attempt to have some sort of connection!  We are tired of being in our own little pod-worlds!

Nonetheless the room below is beautiful, and if you are lucky enough to have the space for a formal dining room, why not make it a gracious and lovely?  

From Wakefield Design Center

Here’s what is “Feng Shui approved” about the room:
1.  Balance of yin and yang.  The rug, curtains, cushioned chairs, and even the texture of the blue-gray soften the room.  The white, the lighting, and floor ceiling windows and that active yang.
2.  Color palette.  The soft blue makes for an elegant statement, and since it’s accentuated by the white, it is neither overpowering (depressing) nor underwhelming.
3.  Feels lux. The decor lends to a lux feel that will delight guests and have them enjoying their meals and feeling quite treasured.
4.  The shape of the dining room table.  Yes to round, as everyone will feel included!
5.  Comfy chairs.  Not too hard, not too soft — just right?
6.  Centerpiece.  Can you imagine the room without that gorgeous bouquet?  It gives it a focal point and an anchor.  Centerpieces can make a huge difference to the chi (energy) of a room!
7. Cleanliness and clutter-free.  Excuse the obviousness, but dining in a space so sparkling clean and clear of clutter will make for an uber-pleasant experience.

What could use some feng shui improvements:
1.  White chairs.  Although I personally love the aesthetic of the white chairs, the color may cause diners to feel “too careful” while eating in fear of dirtying the white.  (This could be a good thing though!  I’m a little on the fence on this one.)  Nonetheless, the white adds to the “formal” feel of the room, and will have those dining here using their best manners!
2.  Glass/metal table.  I tend to steer clear of the glass and metal mix for tables, especially with coffee tables as it has a “precarious” feel.  However, it’s not horrid here, because the chairs add some stability — alas, because of the see-through vibe of a glass table, this room may benefit from having a solid table to anchor the room to alleviate that floating feeling.  Even a table cloth would help.   It will make those dining feel more settled and as a result would aid digestion!
3.  Cure the shar.  Do you see how the wall juts out (on the left of the photo), making a sharp edge point towards the table?  This is called a “shar” in feng shui.  Whomever is sitting in the line of that shar will not feel very comfortable nor settled!  There are various ways to cure this, too long to list here.  🙂
4.  Is it too formal?  That question depends on who you are!  In feng shui, your home should represent YOU.  If you are into formality, entertaining, and the like, go for it!  If you have a more casual approach to life, then do something else.  Your home is about you — don’t try to be who you aren’t — that’s the worst feng shui of all.

This photo is a great example of “how a room affects you.”  It’s obvious, simply from the choice of furniture and color that one would have a luxurious experience dining in this room.  Can you imagine the same room, fit for more casual dining?  It would have a totally different decor, color scheme, etc.

Such are the basics of feng shui!

I hope you enjoyed this little edition of what is to become Feng Shui Friday, where you can email me photos and ask a question or two for my blogging files!


What Feng Shui Reveals About You

Hey!  Here’s an article I wrote for-evah ago that was appeared in a Sun Valley, Idaho publication.  Ezine.com found it and posted it on the Internet, so I decided I would too.


What Feng Shui Reveals About YOU

“A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.” –His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The above statement may seem simple at first reading, but upon consideration, it is really quite powerful. I believe that the Dalai Lama is emphasizing the importance of the state of one’s living space.
Too many people are careless with the space in which they work or dwell. In terms of the Black Sect Tandtic Buddism school of feng shui (which is a derivative of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism), when a person is thoughtful (or thoughtless) in regard to his or her living space, it spills out into his or her life.
So why does feng shui have all those strange and curious “cures,” you might ask, if all one has to do is create a “loving atmosphere”? The fact is most of us have forgotten what a loving atmosphere is. Sure, we may recognize it when we see it, but making it happen is a different story. This is a result of a mass disease that has taken over our world: that is the disease of not knowing how to love our selves completely. Otherwise, creating our lives according to our deepest desires and most lofty dreams would be a cinch.
I like to tell my clients to imagine reading a short story where the author describes the space. This a quick way to notice the “symbolism” that occurs in your own home. After all, the subconscious sees everything. It constantly absorbs messages from our environment and processes these messages. In turn, these messages are sent into our energy fields, creating the very lives we are experiencing. Imagine the difference of a home filled with unwanted gifts, dying plants, and cluttered closets compared to one with healthy flowers, treasured objects, and neatly organized closets with (gasp) extra space! The first home feels slightly neglected, even if the rest of the furnishings were pleasant, while the second space feels freer, lighter, and, cherished. Even the smallest of details have an impact. Our subconscious mind takes images without a filter.
symbolism goes a long way in feng shui–
interior design by Liz Williams
A wonderful start to a loving atmosphere is to first discard or give away any objects that you do not love in your home. Clutter is a sure way to block your highest potential as the subconscious sees it as a symbol of things that we don’t love or need in our lives and creates accordingly. It is amazing how letting go of a thing as simple as a candle from an unfaithful ex-lover or a blanket that you have never used because it is too scratchy can lighten your load! The subconscious gets the message that you’d rather have something (or someone) better in your life.
Next, play with ideas, and find out what it is that want to invite into your life. Then consciously bring it into your home symbolically. For example, you’ve always wanted to travel to Italy. Then stick a postcard of Rome on your refrigerator. Would you like to amp up your love life? Figure out your own personal “romance symbol” and drape it, plant it, or play it on your stereo everyday. The key to creating a great life is to get creative!
With every object in our homes, we are sending a message to ourselves and to the Universe. Wouldn’t you want your message to be one of pure and uplifting love so that you could receive that, and only that, back? Use your conscious mind to transform your subconscious mind, and then witness the shifts in your life.

What NOT To Do To Your TREES — Tree Care 101: Lesson in Mulching

Mulch.  What a great word.  Say it:  Mulch.
Basically, mulch is tree parts. I know a lot of people go to Lowe’s and buy the stuff by the bag, but honestly, anything that falls off a trees (twigs, leaves, pine straw, pieces of bark) makes great mulch.
Mulch is good stuff.  Trees love it.  I love it.  The world — obviously– loves it, by the way they seem to pile it on.  
But there is a right and wrong way to go about mulching your trees. 
Here is the DON’T.
See how this mulch is piled up AGAINST THE TRUNK — this is BAD.  The trunk is buried!!!

Here’s where I dug it out — you can see the trunk is ROTTING!

Here is the tree again, a little further out — big pile of mulch AGAINST THE TRUNK = BAD

Now this tree is quite glorious, don’t you agree?  So, why, why, why would someone put it at risk?

Because when you weaken the structure of the trunk, you put the tree at risk of dying, or worse, having a weak trunk, and then it could fall and really hurt something or someone!

Let’s save our trees, please!

Here’s what mulch is good for:
1.  Replenishing nutrients in the soil
2.  Keeping the soil moist
3.  Preventing soil erosion
(Those are the ultra-uber-basics, the Ground Guys have written it out, shortly and sweetly here)

Because mulch is so good at keeping moisture in, it’s exactly why it should NOT go up against a trunk. The trunk does not need the extra moisture!

Think of it like this:
Mulch, mulch is good for the DIRT
When it touches a tree, it will HURT.

(I just made that up — I’ll try to work on it for you.)

The proper way to put mulch around a tree is to do just that:  put mulch AROUND a tree.  A half-foot to a foot away from the trunk should suffice, and it will still ensure that the soil is getting what it needs…so that the tree gets what it needs.


P.S.  If feeling altruistic one day, go help the improperly-mulched trees in your urban environment by pushing the soil a foot or so back from the trunk — make a day out of it, and see how good you’ll feel!  It’s as important to CARE for a tree as it is to PLANT one.

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