I have a couple of fruittrees in my yard that I mulched last fall with hardwood leaves. Is it really necessary to rake the mulch back in the spring? The trees in the forest seem fine and no one does this for them. I'm afraid to rake over the recently planted bulbs that Afr just coming up.
just make sure the mulch is not touching the trunk/root crown of the tree. pull it back like 3 or 4 inches. The mulch will act as a weedblock if it is deep enough - 3 inches. I have 3 or 4 foot circles around my important trees. 3 inches of good yard waste compost will prevent weeds from germinating. I plant annuals in there then.