We are fast approaching Summer here in New Zealand which means hot days, lots of watering and lots of weeding UNLESS of course you use mulch. Around our garden we use lucerne mulch on the veggie gardens and bark chip on the paths. I've figured out over the years that if I don't mulch bare ground nature will cover it in her own version - weeds. Some people use pea straw but farmers spray their pea crops with herbicide prior to harvesting so the dried foliage still contains herbicide. I garden organically so I use lucerne. Its a deep rooted plant which brings nutrients up from the subsoil. As it rots down it adds nutrients to the soil, thereby feeding the tree at the same time as stopping weeds taking nutrients from the tree. I use lucerne because I learnt about No-Dig Gardening by Esther Deans several years back and since then have always used it.
Comfrey growing under the tree) I wont need to mulch this area until Spring next year. I usually add a bag of horse poo around the base of the tree before I put the lucerne down.