DIY Mulching Party
Take care of the trees your neighborhood already has and create a DIY Mulching Party! Mulch helps conserve water, provides nutrients to the soil, and discourages weeds. Gather your neighbors and protect your existing trees together!
Follow these simple steps to create a DIY Mulching Party in your own community:
Gather your neighbors
- Talk to your neighbors about the benefits of mulch. You can download and print this handout to provide more information.
- Walk door to door, present at a neighborhood meeting, or use your neighborhood's favorite social media platform to connect with your neighbors
Identify an area of your neighborhood in need of mulch
- All trees can benefit from mulch. Work with your neighbors to decide which location works best
- Determine the number of trees while will be mulched (Goal: 10-30 trees per event)
- Identify where the mulch will come from: pick up free mulch from SMUD, purchase mulch at a local retailer, ask a tree care company to drop it at your location (start by contacting Certified Arborists in your area)
- Set date and time for your DIY Mulch Event
Mulching at homes in your neighborhood
- Make a list of neighbors (including addresses) who would like to have their trees mulched
- Note how many trees per house will be mulched
Mulching at a park or school
- Determine who owns the property: school district, City, County, etc.
- Contact the property owner for permission to mulch trees on the property
- You may be able to team up with a program like Adopt-a-Park for extra resources and volunteers
- Ask neighbors receiving mulch for their trees if they will help mulch others
- This is a great volunteer opportunity for youth
- Contact service clubs in your area
- Be clear about the role volunteers will play during the event
- Make plans to support your volunteers with training, safety, name tags, water, snacks, and lots of appreciation!
- Confirm your source of mulch
- Consider necessary tools: wheelbarrows, buckets, work gloves, shovels, pitchforks, rakes
- Other optional materials: water, cups, respiratory masks, protective eye goggles
Ongoing Supervision and Support during Event
- Give an introduction to discuss the purpose of the event, introduce and thank partners and volunteers, and provide a brief safety talk
- Encourage volunteers to work in small teams
- Provide a mulching demonstration: spread mulch around the tree so it looks like a "fluffy doughnut," keep it 4 inches away from the trunk of the tree, pile it 6 inches thick, and try to spread it out to the drip line (the soil beneath the edge of the leaves) if possible.
- Take pictures and encourage volunteers to post to social media
- Have fun!
- Thank everyone for their hard work
- Thank all volunteers for participating
- Celebrate your accomplishment
- Ensure all tools are cleaned and returned to proper owner