Bagged -vs- Bulk
This always seems to be the question! Everyone has their preference.
Cypress mulch comes from cypress trees grown in the swamp lands of Florida and southern Georgia. There are three basic types sold on the market today, Grade “A” All Bark and a “B+” grade, we call “Premium Cypress” and "B-" grade, we call "Utility Grade Cypress". All three are very different from each other, however each can compact and should occasionally be cultivated or "fluffed".
Grade “A” All Bark Cypress is just the bark from cypress trees. It is the “Cadillac” of mulches. It has a stringy texture which is great for sloped areas, it has a reddish brown color and looks great in any landscape. By nature it is resistant to decay, washing and blowing, repels insects and maintains its appearance for a long time. Occasionally turning and fluffing by hand will give it a newly applied appearance. It is more expensive but lasts a great deal longer because of its resistance to decay, therefore it is less likely to be need to be re-applied year after year. This is made from the part of the tree that was intended to be exposed to the elements.
Premium Cypress is the whole tree shredded, bark and all. This is the most widely used type of cypress mulch. It has a reddish tan color with a woody appearance and will fade to grey over time. Its light color will brighten a heavily shaded landscape and it does well in damp areas. It is also somewhat resistant to decay and repels insects. It doesn’t offer any nutritional value, its primary benefits are for decorative use, retarding weed growth, insulating the soil and holding moisture. While inexpensive in price, it most often is "top dressed" or reapplied every year.
Utility Grade Cypress is generally little or no bark, mostly heartwood. It starts with a reddish tan color and has a more woody/chunky appearance. It will fade more rapidly to grey than other mulches. This mulch is widely sold in Home centers, large chain stores, farm and feed stores and (in some areas) gas stations. It will resist some decay and will retard weed growth, insulate soil and help hold moisture. Generally this mulch will need to be re-applied each year, and sometimes each season.
Eastern Cedar mulch is similar to hardwood mulch in appearance. It is
mostly bark with a dark brown color and a stringy appearance.
- The stringy "all-bark" cedar mulches are great for steep slopes and erosion control.
- Compaction will occur, we recommend occasionally aerating or cultivating your mulch.
Pine Bark Mulch is the bark only from pine trees. Most of the pine bark mulch available in the central to eastern United States, comes from southern grown pines and is a by-product of the paper and lumber industries. In the western United States you'll mainly find pine bark from Ponderosa pines which is a thicker and more colorful bark.
The bark is chopped up and screened producing the different types of mulch from Pine Bark mulch to large Pine Bark nuggets.
Pine bark is an excellent mulch to use. It doesn't compact like most
mulches, it has a brown color and holds color longer than most mulches.
Pine is also an excellent soil conditioner. It's great for loosening up
heavy soils and because of its acidity, it promotes root growth and is
great for your acid loving plants.