Mulch vs. Barkdust

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JimLewis, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Just curious if any other states use "barkdust".

    In the NW, landscapers and homeowners almost never use traditional "mulch". We use Red Fir or Hemlock "barkdust" instead. In fact, mulch is hard to come by. But barkdust yards are around every corner. I suppose it's because of the huge timber industry here. Barkdust is a natural biproduct that makes a very beautiful flowerbed dressing. But it seems to be unique to the NW.

    I've noticed people from other states are always perplexed when they see [and smell] the fresh barkdust in all of the flowerbeds around here.

    Just wondered if any of you guys ever used or even had access to barkdust (not the kind in the bag).
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I was wondering about your dust when I visited your webpage. Out here in NY we have Dbl Ground Red Oak, Hemlock, Cedar, Colored Pine Mulches. They usually offer a basic Pine Mulch that is Single Ground or Chipped as well. The Red Oak has a heedy smell to it that clients have become accustomed to when they ask for mulching services.

    On a side note: Weavers Mulch in Coatesville, PA has a triple ground Pine Mulch that is very very fine. I was wondering if mulch thats been ground 3 times is a similar consistency to barkdust??

  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I think the consistency of the typical barkdust used here, "fresh medium red fir", is probably about the same consistency as most mulches. They do sell "fine" red fir, which is maybe closer to what you describe but it's not very common.

    The things that distinguish fir barkdust from other mulches are 1) it's strong fir smell, which is rather nice but doesn't last long 2) It's color, which is a bright reddish-brown color and 3) it holds it's color a lot longer than mulches do.
  4. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    I know this is an old thread, but I have the same question as Jim. I have started to sell a fair amount of product that is commonly referred to as pine bark fines (or could be called soil conditioner if bought in the bag) for use as a mulch. This is the closest thing we have in this area that I would consider as "barkdust". To me, this product is much better than the other mulches I have, such as the shredded hardwood - both in consistency and color retention. This is due to the process the material goes through - it is screened to a fine size, thus most of the wood product is screened out of the final product. Plus, when I blow this product in, it looks great! It looks like reddish-brown snow, even in small areas. The smell of pine is another great advantage (no sour smell like hardwood). Hopefully, with a little encouragement, more people will start using this type of product in my area and get rid of the black charcoal products.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776


    Bark Dust is a term used in Oregon. I went out there and wondered what everyone was talking about. Came to find that it is exactly what the rest of the country calls bark mulch. It is simply a regional term.

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