LawnSite Bronze Member
No.VA, zone 7
I recently heard that a study had been done comparing the benefits and longevity of pine vs. hardwood mulch. Has anyone seen this type of study? What about cypress mulch? <p>Thanks,<br><p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>


Lawnsite Addict
We use three different types, a shredded hardwood, cypress and a product called Fi-bar. Cypress lasts the longest but the color turns a lot of park districts off, hardwood will last two to three years has good color, but inconsistant as to grind some loads ok others eather to fine or too coarse, Fi-bar is for playgrounds, its a 3 to 1 cut, length x width. used under swing set and playground areas.<p>----------<br>paul<br>


LawnSite Bronze Member
morristown, nj
Here in Nj we have all sorts of mulch. I have used a hemlock muclch that seems to be holding up well. Had it down for two sesons so far and it still looks pretty good. Has a nice reddish tone to it, somewhate like cedar, but about 5 a yard cheaper. We also use a lot of cheap root mulch here. Rather inconsiistant but cheap and looks good for the first year. Basically its produced by stump factorys that grind up whatever. Has a real dark color at first, almost black, whick looks good on new plant installs. Plants really pop out visually from the with it. After a year though, it is pretty much shot though. <p>I've also used a product from the city . Comes from down near NYC. Don't know whats in it though. Asked once and got no answer, but for the price it was, why ask any questions. Stuff looks great sometimes, but<br>other times theres more junk than mulch. <p>One problem with it, as i heard from my dad who is a health inspector, is what it was made of. He said it was old buildings ground up, which didn't bother me, but bothered him.<br>He said a lot of times theres a lot of old lead paint ground up from those old places, so therefore a lot of lead in the mulch itself. He said if he wanted to, he could probably test it right there and and find enough hazardous waste in it to condone a hazmat team to clean it up. Thats a comforting thought. Imagine the homeowner calling you up a year later and telling you you your island planting contaminated his water supply. OUch... Don't use that any more.<p>With the hard word mulch i usually get about 2 years of decent look. One thing i learned about in school though was a thing called shotgun fungus. This, which isn't too new, was very interesting<p>Have you ever done a foundation planting at a house or even been to a house, especially with white siding, and come back and see black specs, little ones like ink spots, all over the house that go from the foundation up. Well, thats shotgun fungus (don't know the technical term) Its a disease that occurs in mulch that has a large wood fiber content rather than bark content. The stuff is like mushroom, and spread its spores by shooting them in the air. Hence the clever name. It can shoot the stuff up to 20 or 30 feet supposely. Its not a major problem but it is noticeable. <p>One quick question i had to add to this is whether that new died muclh had a longer lifespan? I personally think bright red mulch is repulsive as anything, but to each is own.


LawnSite Member
In Mass. we are paying $5 more for hemlock than cedar. we also use chestnut, mohagandy, and for some reason everyone around here loves that disgusting red mulch