Bark dust vs Mulch

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Gardening, How To | 0 comments

Bark dust vs Mulch Mulch is anything that is ground up to be spread on the soil as a ground cover.  From the verb, “to mulch” this simply implies that something has been ground into small pieces.  This includes wood chips, yard debris, bark dust, hazelnut shells, composted food waste, etc.  This wikipedia article even defines rock products like gravel as a type of mulch.  We are often asked what is better: bark dust vs mulch?  Our answer?  Well, what is mulch? We aren’t trying to be facetious, but sometimes our customers are referring to composted bark, like dark hemlock, and sometimes they mean yard debris compost like Lady Island Mulch.  If they’re from Hershey, Pennsylvania, they might mean cocoa mulch.  Yes, really!  Indeed, most of the time, it’s the yard debris or “the black stuff” they are looking for.  But we often have to ask clarifying questions to make sure we’re on the same page.  There is some debate regarding what is best for the soil and this blog post aims to address those questions. Terminology:  Yard debris compost is a better name for what many refer to as “mulch“.  It’s whatever is thrown into your yard debris bin, ground up, then put into a pile to compost for a year or more.  When in a pile, heat is generated while the yard debris breaks down, and everything turns a blackish color. Bark and Bark dust are, as the name indicates, the bark of the tree.  This is a by-product of the lumber companies, as it is simply waste for them.  The bark is knocked off of the tree at the mill, we pick it up and bring it to our site.  When it is unground, it is called “hog fuel” as it is sometimes used in the mill for power.  Bark Blowers grinds all of our bark at a medium setting.  Once ground up, it is officially “bark dust“.  Fresh bark dust varies in color from an orange-red to a rusty red. Composted Bark is composted in the same way yard debris is, in a very large pile.  In this case, it is only bark, nothing else.  The composting turns the bark a medium to dark brown color.  Our composted bark products include medium dark hemlock, and medium dark fir.   Pros and Cons: Yard Debris Compost Pros recycling old plant matter composted products are good for the soil aesthetically pleasing Yard Debris Cons unsure of ingredients (usually it can be anything from woody debris like twigs and tree limbs to weeds) woody debris depletes the soil of nitrogen odorous   Fresh Barkdust Pros recycling a by-product of the timber industry neutral PH when breaking down into...

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5 Things to do Before you Bark dust.

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in How To | 0 comments

Think of bark dust as the icing on the cake.  After everything else in your yard is finished, the bark goes down to suppress weeds and beautify the landscape.  Here’s a simple 5 point checklist to help you prepare your yard for bark or mulch. WEED, EDGE, TRIM – Pull the weeds, edge the lawn, trim the hedges and trees. REMOVE DEBRIS – Any debris in the beds to be bark dusted should be removed.  Tree branches, leaves, pull up plants you want removed.  The smoother the surface, the further your bark will go. APPLY WEED BARRIER OF CHOICE – Whether you want to use a chemical weed suppressant or go all natural, there are various ways to suppress weeds.  With chemicals, you should keep in mind that it will kill many of the good bacteria in the ground that is beneficial for a healthy and strong soil.  We recommend landscaping fabric that is biodegradable (like this one) but there are a variety on the market.  Read our blog about it for more info. AMEND SOIL IF NECESSARY – In the Willamette and Tualatin Valleys we have a lot of clay in our soil.  Clay is actually full of vital nutrients for plants, but they cannot access it in clay form.  For a healthy garden and yard, it’s a great idea to add an amendment that will, over time, break down into the soil and clay to help release those nutrients.  This is ideal if you are adding new plants to your yard or are working on a vegetable garden.  Our 5-way Brahma soil can be tilled in, put your raised beds, or added in a 2″ layer to the ground before putting down the bark.  Barkdust itself, will also add humus if consistently applied at a 2″ depth every year or two. PLANT LARGE PLANTS – such as new hedges, bushes, and young trees.  Save the smaller perennials and annuals for after the bark is down.  This is especially true if you are having us blow in the bark as small plants can be damaged during the blowing process.  We typically will blow a small pile beside the sensitive areas for you to hand spread later.  Plants can be planted directly into bark. Now you’re ready to lay your bark!  Take a look at our products and give us a call when you’re ready. ...

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Bark Delivery 101

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Delivery, How To, Uncategorized | 0 comments

So you’ve decided to have your bark dust or other products delivered – great! We’ve created a delivery guideline to help answer any questions you may or may not have. Here’s our most typical scenario: 1. You’ve placed your order with us over the phone. 2. We load your order at our Tigard yard. 3. Our driver picks up a check from under your doormat or other area, unless we have a credit/debit card on file. 4. Our driver dumps your order in the place you have specified (usually your driveway or nearby). 5. A copy of your invoice is left at your door. Some things to consider if you are have having bark dumped: Low overhead wires or branches – the bed of our trucks lifts to 16 feet in the air to dump your product.  That is approximately the same height as the power lines.  If there are low overhanging wires or branches, we will need to find another area to dump. You do not need to be home.  We will take instructions on where to dump your product over the phone.  It is preferred that the area be marked.  You can do this by placing a soda can full of water on the area, or with a tarp, or a piece of duct tape. We cannot guarantee a time of delivery.  Unfortunately there are many factors that affect the time that we deliver your order like traffic, personnel, our own retail yard customers, and more.  If you need the product at a specific time, we recommend having it delivered the day before so that it is there for you when you need it. We will not dump a product without payment. If you have decided to pay with a check, please let us know where you will leave it.  If we cannot find it, we will not dump your order.  We take all valid credit / debit cards. Specify where to dump by marking the area with a soda can full of water, a cone, duct tape on the pavement, tarp, or other method.  Let us know when placing your order how you’ll be marking the area so that our driver knows what to look for.  If you think overhead obstructions or other factors may make it difficult to dump in your preferred spot, please provide an alternate dumping area if necessary. Our trucks do not leave the pavement and do not drive on pavers.  We take no responsibility for damage beyond the curb, so keep that in mind when asking us to dump product on your driveway. We hope you find this post to be helpful.  Give us a call when you’re ready to order...

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How much is one yard of bark dust?

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in How To | 0 comments

How much is one yard of bark dust? This is our second most frequent question!  Technically, one cubic yard is equivalent to 27 cubic feet of bark.  It covers about 160 square feet at a 2 inch depth.  Again, this is only useful if you know approximately how many square feet you need to cover.  A standard or even small sized pick-up will easily carry one full yard.  Here’s a photo of one yard of bark in a pile beside Tom’s Honda Element.   Ready to order?  Give us a call at 503-620-5555 or read more about our PRODUCTS and...

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How much is one unit of bark dust?

Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in How To | 1 comment

How much is one unit of barkdust? This is probably our most common question.  We usually explain that one unit is “the equivalent of 7.4 cubic yards” which we realize is not very informative, practically speaking.  We have also used the analogy that one unit, when dumped in a pile, is about the size of a Volkswagon beetle without the wheels.  That’s a little better, but still kind of vague.  The most important information is that one unit of bark will cover 1100 square feet at a 2″ depth.  This will require that you at least roughly measure the areas of the beds you want to cover.  We thought this visual might also help.  That’s Tom’s Honda Element parked beside it for reference.                 Ready to order?  Give us a call at 503-620-5555 or read more about our PRODUCTS and SERVICES....

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