Types of Hardwood Mulch

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Hardwood mulch is produced in several types and colors. Mulch is often chosen by color and consistency. There are a variety of hardwood mulches available today that offer different benefits. Hardwood mulch is made from the bark leftover from lumber mills. The most common tree bark used is from oak, maple, cherry and birch trees. Look at several types and learn their benefits before choosing hardwood mulch.

Function

  • The main use of hardwood mulch is to prohibit weed growth in gardens and flower beds. The physical consistency is what deters weed growth. Still, it has another function. Hardwood mulch, available in many colors, is an attractive landscaping product.

Size

  • Hardwood mulch comes in various sizes, often labeled as double- or triple-shredded. The more hardwood is shredded, the finer the pieces. Finer shredded mulch costs more than rough shred. Size of mulch is often determined by its intended use. The finer the mulch, the more it blocks weeds.

Color

  • Hardwood mulch is naturally a deep rich brown to light brown color, depending on the makeup. Hardwood mulch can be bought in many colors. The colors are varied by the blend of trees used in the mulch. Maple makes a light brown mulch, and oak and cherry make the deep brown color mulches. These dyed versions, however, can lose their color in about a year, depending on the quality. The amount of dye and length the time the dye is allowed to dry factors in on the longevity of the dye.

Consideration

  • Hardwood mulch has a lower decomposition rate than other mulches. Coarse-ground types of hardwood mulch retain their use longer than the fine-ground types. Hardwood mulch also adheres nicely to the ground, keeping it from being washed away by the rain.

Purchase

  • Hardwood mulch can be found at any local nursery or garden store. Major retailers with garden centers also carry several varieties of mulch, including hardwood. Mulch can also be bought in bulk from landscaping companies. They will deliver it by the truckload to your house.

Warning

  • Always inspect mulch when purchased in bulk. There are various byproducts found in cheap wood-chip mulch. Often, local cities and power companies will advertise free hardwood mulch. This is a product that comes from chipping downed tree branches. There is usually a lot more than wood in this type of mulch, such as metal and plastic scrap. Mulch made from old shipping pallets often contain nails.

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