We can sell the finest mulch at the lowest prices because we control the entire supply chain of the product. For instance we own 404-CUT-TREE, one of the largest tree services in the metro Atlanta area. Wood chips are a by-product of tree trimming and removal. So we are the suppliers of the raw material, and the manufacturer of the finished product. The end result is savings passed on to you, the customer.
How deep should I mulch?
As helpful as mulch is, deeper isn't better. A layer of 3 inches is best. Mulch is great for the roots but bad for the bark. Keep the mulch away from the bark of the tree as it causes fungus. Applied in a proper amount, you maintain soil moisture over the roots. The right depth will reduce germination of greenery you don't want spreading around trees. It serves as nature's insulation, keeping soil warmer in winter and cooler in hot weather. And don't create mulch volcanoes. It's the description arborists use to describe a mountain of mulch piled up against the bark of the tree trunk. This suffocates the roots and creates a good environment for tree borers.
Does having mulch attract termites?
Termites are not strongly attracted to bark chips but you may find them in your mulch after a couple of years. Termites actually help the process of converting mulch to humus. You just don't want them in your home. Pull the chips back twelve inches from the foundation and keep the pests at bay.
How do I know how much to order?
First step off the landscape beds you wish to cover with mulch. (Most people's large steps cover 3 feet.) Decide how deep you wish to make the mulch. Most arborists advise never going above 4 inches in depth. Plug in the dimensions in feet and the depth of mulch desired in inches into the mulch calculator on this web site. It will compute how much mulch to order. Note that it also calculates the equivalent number of 2 cubic foot bags to purchase, so you can compare the costs of bagged mulch vs. bulk.
How much is a cubic yard?
A cubic yard contains 27 cubic feet. Typically the $3.00 bag of mulch purchased contains 2 cubic feet. Therefore that bag costs $40.50 per cubic yard. Of course you have to pay to have bulk mulch delivered. So when you factor in the delivery cost, it's usually less expensive to purchase mulch by the bag for smaller quantities.
How is mulch produced?
There are different types of mulch including both organic and inorganic. Most arborists and landscapers prefer organic mulch made from ground up trees. And this is the mulch we make and sell. Our tree company, 404-CUT-TREE, and several other local tree services, chip up their tree trimmings at the tree trimming job site, then dump the chips on our mulch yard in Norcross. We then regrind them and force them through a 2 inch screen. The mulch is either sold as 'double ground' natural mulch, or it is dyed using environmentally friendly dye, and sold as brown mulch. Although the colored mulch is more expensive, we sell about 10 times as much brown mulch as we do the natural mulch.
Mulch vs. Pine Straw:
Mulch is better than pine straw for several reasons. In addition to keeping down weeds and defining an island, mulch also resists erosion, retains moisture, creates humus, naturally aerates the soil and creates mycorrhiza colonies. Look under pine straw which has been down for a year and see what the pine straw has done for the soil – nothing! Now look under mulch which has been down for a year and compare the two. The ground is beginning to resemble the forest floor – which is a much better environment for trees and shrubs. Additionally, mulch is almost impossible to catch fire. Not so with pine straw! Numerous commercial customers have had cars burn in parking lots due to fires in pine straw.
Bagged vs. Bulk:
There are situations where bagged mulch is easier to handle than bulk. But you are paying big time for the added convenience. $3.00 for a 2 cubic foot bag of mulch equates to $40.50 per cubic yard. Why would you spend money on the individual bags and the labor to bag them if you don’t have to? Seems wasteful to us too!
Fungus and Mold:
It is normal to see some mold and fungus appear in your mulched islands. Mold and fungus are part of what Nature uses to break down the wood fibers into humus. It is harmless (but don't let your children eat it!). When you see it, if it bothers you, just turn over that mulch with a shovel. On rare occasions you may see a type of fungus which you really should turn over. Artillery fungus thrives in shady, moist areas. It looks like hundreds of little circular, white craters on the top surface of the mulch. They will release spores which can stain your house siding or car. And the black spots that result are difficult to remove. The solution is the same as with other fungi, just turnover the affected area, or cover it with other mulch.
For several reasons, mulch should always be pulled back a minimum of six inches from tree trunks. A mulch layer more than four inches deep can be harmful.
Wear an inexpensive dust mask when installing mulch. Some people experience flu-like symptoms when spreading mulch the first time. After it's spread, it's no problem.
Use a pitchfork instead of a shovel.
Be careful about dumping ‘wet’ brown mulch on a white driveway, or installing it near pavers, sidewalks, etc. Until the mulch dries, it is not colorfast. After drying, it’s safe and the color will not run. Generally this is only a problem during the busiest installation times during April and May.
Do not install a layer of plastic below the mulch unless you wish to negate the mulch’s horticultural benefits to the soil.
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