The Difference Between Mulch and Bark

Posted by George Bravos on

What is the difference between wood mulch and wood bark and what is best?

Mulch or Bark which is best?

Mulch and bark are both materials that are used in landscaping and gardening to provide a protective layer around plants. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Mulch and Bark Products: How Its Made

There are many types of mulch used in todays landscapes. Mulch is typically made from organic materials, such as wood chips but also come in many other organic types such as leaves, straw, pine needles, and even rubber!

Wood mulch is made by chipping or shredding wood into small pieces, typically using a machine called a wood chipper. Wood chips or shreds are then screened to remove any large or undesirable pieces and to create a uniform size. The wood mulch is then sold in bulk fresh from our farm.

There are several types of wood mulch, including hardwood, softwood, and dyed mulch. Hardwood mulch is made from hardwood trees, such as oak and maple, and is usually dark in color. Softwood mulch is made from softwood trees, such as pine and cedar, and is usually lighter in color. Dyed mulch is made from wood chips that have been treated with a colorant to give it a desired hue, such as red or black. Our most popular type in California being Redwood Mulch. Rubber mulch coming from recycled tires also comes in different colors, qualities , and sizes.

 Bark, on the other hand, is made from the outer layers of trees that have been stripped away and ground into small pieces that are suitable for use in landscaping and gardening. This process typically involves removing the bark from the tree trunk using a machine called a de-barker. The bark is then chipped or ground into small pieces using a machine called a hammermill or grinder.

Wood Mulch And Wood Bark Size Options

 Mulch typically has a more varied and natural appearance, as it is made from a variety of organic materials. Bark, on the other hand, has a more uniform and consistent appearance, due to its tree-based origins. With bark your only getting one part of the tree the outer layer or bark while with mulch you get a blend of the whole tree both inside and outside.

Uses For Wood Bark And Wood Mulch

Mulch is typically used to help retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Bark is used for similar purposes, but is also often used as a decorative element in landscaping due to its uniform appearance.


Durability Of Mulch versus Bark

Mulch is generally less durable than bark, as it is made from organic materials that break down over time. Bark is more durable and can last longer, as it is made from tree bark which is more resistant to decay.

Cost Of Mulch versus Bark

Bark is typically more expensive than mulch, as it requires more processing to produce and is often considered a premium landscaping material. Mulch is generally less expensive, as it is made from a variety of readily available organic materials.


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