Hemlock vs cedar mulch

Contact: Tina Rosebrook
(770) 274-1251

Oldcastle Lawn & Garden, one of the nation’s top mulch manufacturers, shares tips for success
ATLANTA, Ga.-Some homeowners begrudgingly spread mulch, but others understand the amount of time and money this easy DIY practice actually saves. Mulching helps maintain soil moisture and inhibits weed growth, saving homeowners time on watering and weeding. It also provides soil insulation, which helps control soil temperature and saves plant roots from extreme heat as well as freeze. Finally, mulch is one of the most cost effective and easiest DIY projects to give a yard a finished look.
While applying mulch is easy, choosing which type to use can be overwhelming. With so many options today, a homeowner needs a reference guide to decide which type to use. Here’s a quick guide for mulching success.
Organic vs Inorganic Mulch
While mulch comes in a number of forms, from natural wood to brick chips, organic mulch has a few benefits that inorganic mulch does not. Organic mulches slowly decompose, enriching the ground underneath with nutrients and helping to loosen the soil. This improves root development and increases water infiltration while also attracting beneficial organisms such as earthworms.
Recycled Construction Materials
Recycled construction materials include anything from land clearing debris, such as trees and shrubs, to recycled wood pallets. In the case of land clearing debris, the whole wood product, not just the bark, is recycled. Other items that may get caught up in the debris and eventual mulch are weeds, seeds, poison ivy and even insect infestations if the material is not properly managed.
In addition, recycled wooden pallets can introduce harmful chemicals into your yard and ground. Since wood naturally absorbs liquid, any spilled chemical may have been soaked up by a wooden pallet that is later turned in to mulch. And some wooden pallets may have been produced from CCA treated wood. CCA (chromated copper arsenate) is a chemical wood preservative containing chromium, copper and arsenic.
Natural Wood Mulch
Natural, or virgin, wood mulch is produced from a variety of trees, each having their own unique advantages. The decision of which type to use depends as much on homeowner preference of smell and color as anything else.

  • Cedar Mulch ranges in color depending on the region in which it is harvested. It is usually aromatic, though some varieties have a stronger aroma than others. The oil produced by cedars serves as a natural insect repellant. Cedar mulch is exceptionally long lasting so it does not need to be replaced as often as other varieties. However, its longevity lessens the amount of rich hummus added to the soil that faster decomposing varieties produce.
  • Cypress Mulch is an aesthetically pleasing, light colored mulch that is also aromatic. It naturally repels insects and has natural fungus resistance. It is long lasting like cedar.
  • Hardwood Mulch is fibrous and knits together well which inhibits soil erosion and weed germination while retaining moisture. Hardwood mulch is often made of oak but may be compiled of a mixture of hardwoods.
  • Pine Bark Mulch is a popular variety that is usually less expensive than other mulches yet still provides the benefits of moisture retention, soil conditioning and weed prevention. Pine mulch breaks down reasonably fast improving the organic content of the soil.
  • Pine Bark Nuggets and mini nuggets are great for topdressing flower beds and interiorscapes. They break down slower than shredded pine bark mulch for a longer lasting effect.
  • Hemlock Mulch is a premium product that is growing in demand. Its rich, brick-red color provides a beautiful contrast to lawns and shrub foliage.
  • Eucalyptus Mulch is another aromatic mulch that naturally deters insects and is growing in demand.
  • Colored Mulch may come in red, brown, black, dark or gold as well as some less popular color choices. Colored mulch is usually made of shredded softwood such as pine.

Schill Blog

Spring is the time of year when everything gets a fresh start. The same can be said for the mulch in your commercial landscape. Over a long Northern Ohio winter, mulch typically breaks down into the soil and loses much of its original luster from when it was first applied.

If that sounds like something you’ve witnessed on your property between winter storms, now might be a great time to start thinking about scheduling a new application of mulch to your landscape beds. But with so many types of mulch available, there’s a lot to consider. Do all mulches perform the same? What are the best types of mulch for commercial landscapes?

Today we explain the important role mulch plays in the health and success of your landscape and also take a closer look at 9 types of mulch for commercial landscapes.

7 Benefits Of Mulch For Commercial Landscapes

Before deciding which type of mulch is right for your commercial landscape, it’s important to understand the benefits the right mulch can bring to your property. Here are more than a handful worth noting:

  1. Mulch improves soil moisture retention and helps reduce watering needs.
  2. It insulates the soil against extreme temperature fluctuations, which helps protect the roots.
  3. It can decompose naturally into the soil (depending on mulch type), which can improve soil quality.
  4. Mulch helps keep weed growth down and also makes them easier to spot and remove.
  5. It helps prevent soil compaction.
  6. Aesthetically speaking, fresh mulch breathes new life into a weather-worn landscape.
  7. It also acts as a guide to keep maintenance equipment away from roots and trunks in your landscape.

We Review 9 Types Of Mulch

Pine bark vs. shredded hardwood. Mini vs. large nuggets. Dyed vs. natural coloring.

Choosing the right mulch for your commercial landscape can be a little overwhelming. With so many options and factors to take into consideration, well, it’s enough to make you second guess yourself.

We want to make sure you’re choosing the right mulch, which is why we put together this breakdown of popular mulches to help you out in the decision-making process.

Dying to learn more about how to protect your commercial landscape?

Check out our guide for commercial property managers and owners.


Shredded Bark: One of the most used and most affordable forms of mulch, shredded hardwood bark knits together tightly. It works well on slopes and won’t wash away as easily as mulch in nugget form. This byproduct from the lumber industry is easy to spread and slow to break down into the soil, making it a common choice for natural-looking pathways.

With that said, hardwood mulch can increase your soil’s alkalinity. So if you do have acid-loving plants in your landscape, fertilizer supplements may be required to keep them happy.

Wood Chips: This chunkier, more durable form of mulch is best used for playgrounds, paths and walkways. When used in the landscape, be mindful of the nitrogen deficiencies it can create in your soil as it decomposes due to its high carbon-to-nitrogen ratio.


Straw (Pine Needles): Another mulch slow to break down, pine straw has a rust-colored hue that can give your landscape a soft, unique appearance compared to other traditional mulches.

Pine straw can increase your soil’s acidity, making it beneficial to landscapes with azaleas, rhododendrons and some types of conifers. It is also a good choice for providing protection around newly planted ornamentals.

Shredded Bark: (Pictured right) Like shredded hardwood, this mulch is easy to spread in landscapes and provides beneficial moisture retention.

This form of pine bark mulch breaks down much faster than mulch nuggets — conditioning the soil in the process.

Nuggets: Whether you choose large or mini nuggets, this longer-lasting pine bark mulch is a much looser mulch that doesn’t excel in water retention or staying put. High winds and stormwater have been known to float the nuggets on occasion — something that can happen more frequently the larger the nugget.

Cedar Mulch

Most of us recognize this golden reddish mulch by its pleasant woodsy aroma. Generally more expensive than the other mulches mentioned here, cedar mulch lasts longer than most mulches thanks to its resistance to decay. Its oils are considered to naturally repel insects, too. BECAUSE this mulch is long lasting, it doesn’t provide much nutritional benefit to the soil beneath it.

Unlike darker mulches that have a tendency to absorb the sunlight, the lighter color of cedar mulch works well to reflect sunlight during the warmer months.

Cypress Mulch

Cypress mulch gives landscapes a boost of long-lasting golden coloring and much like cedar, it reflects sunlight, naturally repels insects (except for termites) and is naturally resistant to fungus. Cypress mulch also helps to prevent soil erosion thanks to its matting capability.

Rubber Mulch

This mulch is kind of the new kid on the block; it’s used on playgrounds for its ability to provide a softer landing surface. However, it’s safe for use around plants, too. This relatively permanent mulch does nothing to improve soil quality, but it does deter pests and help prevent weeds.

Though this mulch option is a bit on the pricey side, it doesn’t float and does come in a variety of long-lasting colors.

Dyed Mulch

Today’s dyed mulch is available in a number of colors — red, black and brown are the most popular. The mulch’s coloring comes from a water-based dye, making it safe for people and their pets.

When dyed mulch is applied to your landscape, a curing period is recommended (usually a 24-hour period without coming in contact with water). Dyed mulches retain their bold color much longer than traditional, non-dyed mulches.

Dyed mulches are also available triple-ground, making the mulch much finer for easier spreading and a richer appearance.

Ready To Talk Mulch With Schill?

If you’re still on the fence about which types of mulch are best for your commercial landscape, well, you’ve come to the right place. With more than 20 years of commercial landscaping experience in Northern Ohio, we’ve spread enough mulch to know which ones will bring out the best in your property and its landscape.

Call us any time at 440-327-3030 — we love talking mulch — or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.

Images: Mulch display, Bark mulch

How Much Does Mulch Cost?

When you need to keep your flowers and shrubs moist during the summer and protect them from pests, mulch offers the most efficient solution. Mulch is any material that you spread over soil as a secondary covering for roots. It helps to retain moisture, discourage weeds and lower the soil temperature. It also increases the attractiveness of your garden beds and separates it from the grass. If you invest in organic mulch, it also improves the soil’s fertility over time as the mulch decomposes. Here is more information on mulch and what to consider if you buy a few bags for your garden beds.

On This Page:

  1. Bulk Mulch Prices
  2. Organic Mulch Prices
  • Inorganic Mulch Costs
  • How Much Mulch Do You Need?
  • Mulch Installation Costs
  • Where is Mulch Used?
  • Additional Considerations
  • Bulk Mulch Prices

    Covering a few garden beds might require only a few bags of mulch. However, if you want to cover a large portion of your front or backyard, you probably should buy in bulk. The average price of bulk mulch is between $15 and $65 per cubic yard, though some bags are priced to cover more than one cubic yard. Unless you own a truck or SUV, consider having the mulch delivered to your home, which adds an extra $350 to $700 to these prices.

    Here are some costs of bulk mulch types by the cubic yard:

    • Black Hardwood
      • 1 cubic yard – $64
      • 2 – 5 cubic yards – $46 per yard
      • 6 – 11 cubic yards – $42 per yard
    • Colored: $33 per cubic yard
    • Dark Brown Fines: $35 per cubic yard
    • Double Shredded Log: $24 per cubic yard
    • Hardwood Oak Bark
      • 1 cubic yard – $60
      • 1.5 cubic yards – $75
      • 2-5 cubic yards – $43 per yard
      • 6-11 cubic yards – $33 per yard
    • Natural: $19 per cubic yard
    • Natural Fines: $16 per cubic yard
    • Screened Natural: $24 per cubic yard
    • Shredded Log: $19 per cubic yard

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    Organic Mulch Prices

    Organic mulch is any type of mulch made from plant materials. You can find some in your yard, but if you need a large quantity, buy it at your local home improvement store. Some common organic mulch materials you can use and their prices include:

    • Pine bark/needles: Use this loose mulch to help plant roots absorb and retain moisture. You shouldn’t use it if you live in wet or windy areas, though, because it easily blows away. It costs about 10 to $12 per 2 cubic feet.
    • Straw/hay: You can purchase straw and hay for about $4 to $5 per bale. It decomposes annually, so you will need to replace it every year. It’s good for lawns that you want to seed or for preparing a garden for new spring growth.
    • Wood chips/nuggets: You can purchase these at local home improvement stores or nurseries for about $10 to $12 per 2 cubic feet. Most varieties are made with pine, but know that wood chips and nuggets often attract bugs. Keep an eye out for slime mold though, which can grow on wood chips in moist conditions. You will need to have it removed professionally.
    • Yard waste: You don’t have to pay anything to use your yard waste as mulch. Reuse leaves, lawn clippings and compost as organic mulch in your garden beds.

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    Inorganic Mulch Prices

    If you don’t want to invest in organic mulch, you can also use inorganic mulch. The inorganic mulch varieties are made from materials other than plants. Some of them are so dense that they don’t allow weed growth. You can find them at most local home improvement centers or nurseries. They include:

    • Landscape cloth: This is used to prevent weed growth. It also allows air and water to penetrate the soil to your plants’ roots. Usually rocks or other types of mulch are placed atop it to improve the look of the garden bed. You can purchase rolls of it for about $20.
    • Plastic: Water and air can’t get through plastic sheets since it’s about 4 millimeters thick. It’s used around plants with a hole cut through it so it can’t compromise the root system. Plastic sheets cost between $25 and $30 for a 15 x 3-foot roll.
    • Rocks/gravel: The cost to install gravel or rocks over a garden bed varies depending on the type you choose. It’s usually delivered by the truckload or in 50-pound bags, which cost about $10. They allow water and air to reach the roots, but discourage weed growth at the same time. You might have to weed your garden occasionally, however, when stubborn weeds break through.
    • Rubber mulch: This prevent fungus and unwanted insects from getting to your plant roots. It’s used for playgrounds in addition to landscaping. You can pick many types of color variations depending on what matches your garden best. Rubber mulch costs between $10 and $12 per 2 cubic feet.

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    How Much Do You Need?

    You can either buy mulch in bags or in bulk. Bags cover about 2 cubic feet each. Bulk mulch starts at about 2 cubic yards (13.5 bags), and you can have it delivered for between $350 and $680 by a mulch delivery service. If you choose to do the project yourself, you can probably fit about 30 bags in an SUV, which would cover a garden measuring 60 cubic feet.

    Some common mulch options and their prices include:

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    Mulch Installation Costs

    For professional mulch installation, you might pay anywhere between $160 and $270, although this won’t include the cost to buy or deliver mulch. This is determined by the square footage of area you need covered along with labor and delivery costs. Labor varies from pro to pro, depending on whether they charge by the hour or square foot. Ask ahead of time so you know what the quote entails. Your charges for delivery will come either from the pro if you buy from him or her or from the local home improvement store if you buy the mulch ahead of time.

    When you hire a professional to install mulch professionally, you must choose the type of mulch you want. There are various types and their costs will vary. Some prices to consider for different types, by the bag, are:

    If you have mulch delivered and professionally installed, then you probably have a big project on your hands for the front or backyard. Maybe you are:

    • Laying a new lawn
    • Starting a new garden
    • Reseeding part of your lawn
    • Laying mulch along driveways, sidewalks or foundations

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    Where is Mulch Typically Used?

    There are various uses for mulch around the yard, depending on the type you choose. Beyond just organic and inorganic, you have specific materials.

    • Bark chips: Lay these around tree roots and shrubs or use them in garden beds where you don’t dig a lot. Also consider putting these around front walkways or foundations because they don’t move around much.
    • Compost or manure: You can put this kind of mulch anywhere as long as you don’t anticipate many weeds. Compost and manure help contribute valuable nutrients to the soil during the growing season.
    • Grass clippings: These are best for the remote parts of your garden where you don’t want any weeds to grow. They decompose quickly and sometimes give off a foul odor, so they aren’t the most attractive option.
    • Shredded leaves: You can use these anywhere and they’re more appealing than grass clippings. Bugs frequently gather around decaying leaves, so don’t use them near flowers or certain shrubbery that require protection from insects.
    • Straw or salt hay: Use this in your vegetable gardens. It prevents soil-borne diseases from infecting your plant leaves and it prevents mud. It also lasts for a long time so you don’t have to replace it frequently.

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    Additional Considerations

    Mulch benefits your garden bed in many ways, but chief among them is the improvement of your home’s curb appeal. When you add it to your garden beds, think about the aesthetic impact as well as its functional benefits.

    Some other tips on mulching to consider are:

    • Adding 2-3 inches onto new beds to ensure soil moisture but only 1 inch to prevent suffocating the roots when applying more mulch later
    • Applying weed killers before putting down the mulch and then periodically uprooting any weeds to prevent further growth
    • Re-edging the garden bed to prevent mulch from blowing away in windy conditions
    • Smoothing the mulch after application to ensure a pleasant, uniform look for the yard
    • Blowing away excess debris — leaves, grass clippings — if you use inorganic mulch to prevent pests or diseases from attacking your plants.

    Always apply mulch when the soil is warm but not excessively hot, so aim for the early spring or late fall. Mulch is good for moisture retention, but it also protects the roots from excessive heat or cold, so you can use it during both summer and winter conditions. Make sure you choose a mulch that blends well with your landscape, whether it’s rubber mulch with a nice color or organic mulch that doesn’t decay too quickly.

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    As I was perusing the new Trumbull Home Depot I came across the lawn and garden area. Now my family has a bulk mulch and topsoil company, so believe it or not I have never had to buy bagged products. Besides the fact that I have never bought them, I never really looked into them. I had a thorough understanding that ordering in bulk was cheaper, only because it had been ingrained in me since day one.

    What I found was that Home Depot sells mulch in 2 cubic foot bags. We sell mulch by the cubic yard. A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet. So by multiplying the bag price by 13.5 we will get the cubic yard price. Below are some of the comparisons:

    Scotts 2 cu. ft. Nature Scapes Advance Brown Mulch $4.97 Each

    What does that cost by the yard? A cool $67.10. Compare that to our Brown Mulch which is $26.00 per cubic yard. The Home Depot bagged mulch is $41.10 MORE EXPENSIVE per cubic yard.

    You may think OK Grillo that’s nice and all but you may have taken that out of context, how about another comparison? Here it is:

    Great Gardens 2 cu. ft. Red Colored Mulch $3.68 Each

    This is $49.68 per cubic yard, or $23.68 more than our Red Mulch.

    Home Depot Website to verify that I’m not exaggerating.

    The one thing that can be said is that they don’t charge a delivery fee. But you still have to drive there and deal with the hassle of loading and unloading all the bags.

    Also we have a skid steer loader that loads small pickup trucks and trailers all day long.

    If you don’t have a truck yes we do deliver, and you still will usually pay less when ordering over 2 cubic yards.

    To sum this up I am not saying that bagged mulch does not have a purpose. It is useful when dealing with tiny areas, such as around a tree, or in a small planting bed. My point is that it is more expensive. People can say what they want but we looked at them side by side, and you definitely save when you buy in bulk.

    Take a look at our per yard prices: https://grilloservices.com/prices/

    Compare these to the cost per bag and you can be a better informed consumer, saving money along the way.

    5 Frequently Asked Questions About Bark Dust Landscaping

    Having bark dust placed throughout your yard can be great for your property’s landscaping. You’ll have to do more than just purchase a bag or two of this product, however. It’s important to do some research and find out what it takes to improve your lawn with bark dust.

    Here are some frequently asked questions about bark dust and how this material can provide landscaping benefits:

    1. How should bark dust be applied? — When applying bark dust, it’s best to spread it on your property in layers. For landscaping projects, a layer of two to three inches of bark dust is typically recommended for the best results.
    2. Can I apply the bark dust myself? — You can, but it will likely not go all that well. Your best bet is to contact professional bark blowers and have them spread the bark dust across your property in a precise and efficient manner.
    3. What if I buy too much bark dust? — You might not know exactly how much bark dust you need on your property, and that’s okay. As long as you’re working with a credible bark blowing company, you will only be charged for the actual amount of product blown on your lawn and not any excess material that you might have ordered.
    4. How often should bark dust be applied? — It’s recommended that new bark dust should be applied at least once every two to four years. The need for reapplying product depends entirely on the type of bark and how well it has been maintained.
    5. How much can these projects increase my return on investment (ROI)? — As long as you’re spending around 5% of your home’s value on bark dust and other landscape improving projects, you can yield an ROI as high as 150%.

    Before you start tossing around mulch or other material around your landscape, it’s best you speak with experienced professionals. If you want to learn more about how bark dust blowing can significantly improve your property’s look and value, give Barkdusters a call today.

    Using Hemlock Mulch On Veggies And Garden Areas

    The hemlock tree is a majestic conifer with fine-needled foliage and a graceful form. Hemlock bark has a high concentration of tannins, which seem to have some pest repellent aspects and mulch made of the wood is attractive and useful in the garden. There are some concerns, however, regarding the safety of the mulch in the landscape, but most of this is due to a mistaken identity.

    What is hemlock mulch and what is the plant that is actually unsafe to have in the garden and around pets? Can you use hemlock mulch in a vegetable garden and around other edibles? Read on for answers that will put your mind at ease as you contemplate the right organic mulch for your landscape.

    What is Hemlock Mulch?

    Hemlock is a hardwood tree used for many industrial purposes. Its bark has a rich, red to orange or burgundy color, which accents plants in the garden and creates contrast among all the green growing things. It is an organic mulch that may be finely ground or in larger more emphatic chunks.

    Organic mulches aid in water retention, keep weeds down, beautify the landscape and

    gradually compost into the soil, releasing nutrients and improving porosity and tilth. Prized for the deep colors, using hemlock mulch also adds its tones to the vibrant hues of the diverse garden. The depth of the color depends upon what part of the tree the mulch comes from and the length of the aging process.

    Is Hemlock Mulch Safe to Use?

    Poison hemlock is a bushy plant that grows wild along roadsides, in fields and in forests. It has a speckled purple stem and large deeply divided leaves, with a decidedly herbaceous texture. The plant is very toxic and even a small amount ingested by a pet or small child can make them very sick or even cause death. Consumers that wonder “is hemlock mulch safe to use,” are usually mistaking the poison hemlock for the conifer hemlock, which is not toxic.

    Using hemlock mulch around ornamental plants and trees is a healthy and attractive soil amendment. But can you use hemlock mulch in a vegetable garden? Hemlock mulch on veggies will not harm the food, but the thick pieces compost more slowly than other soil amendments and actually reduce the available nitrogen in soil as it breaks down.

    A better choice would be manure, nut hulls, grass clippings or even straw, all of which will break down and add nutrients to the soil more quickly. If you are in a pinch, however, you can certainly use hemlock mulch on veggies without fear of it tainting your produce.

    Hemlock Mulch and Pets

    Pets, especially young ones, like to mouth everything around them in their search to satisfy their curiosity about items they find in their environment. This is much like a toddler, but it is harder to watch Fido every second of the day if he/she is an outdoor pooch.

    Hemlock mulch has been deemed safe by the ASPCA. Of course, you could still encounter some vomiting or diarrhea if your dog goes nuts and eats a lot of the bark mulch. Another alternative if you are concerned is cedar mulch with a distinctive scent that dogs don’t enjoy.

    Bark and Bark dust Products

    Fresh Fir Barkdust

    Medium fresh fir bark is the most common, all purpose bark dust. Sometimes called “bright fir” the bark ranges in color from orange-red to rusty-red.

    Application: garden and flower beds, hillsides, pathways, erosion control.

    Blowing, delivery, and you-haul are available for this product.

    Fresh Hemlock Barkdust

    Medium fresh hemlock bark looks nearly identical to fresh fir but has significantly fewer slivers than fir. For this reason, it is often referred to as the “sliverless bark dust” and is the most popular product we carry. It’s a rusty red color and is a great all purpose bark dust.
    Application: garden and flower beds, hillsides, pathways, erosion control.

    Great for families with children, pets, gardeners.

    Blowing, delivery, and you-haul are available for this product.

    Medium Dark Fir Barkdust

    Medium dark fir bark is fir bark that has been composted for 1 – 2 years. During this time, the bark turns to a brown color that varies depending on where it is in the composting process. Composted bark gives the look of a more established yard.
    Application: garden and flower beds, soil amendment, can be used for planting sod.

    Blowing, delivery, and you-haul are available for this product.

    Dark Hemlock Barkdust

    Medium dark hemlock barkdust is hemlock bark that has been composted for 1 – 2 years. Like the fir, the color varies from a light brown to a deep chocolate brown, depending on the stage it is in. Dark hemlock is also sliverless.
    Application: garden and flower beds, soil amendment, can be used for planting sod.

    Blowing, delivery, and you-haul are available for this product.

    Large Bark Nuggets

    Large bark nuggets are 1 – 2″ in size. There is no “dust” in the nuggets and they are very long lasting. This is fir bark.

    Application: decorative, flower beds

    Delivery and you-haul are available for this product. We can only blow in the small nuggets (see below).

    Pebble (Medium) Bark Nuggets

    Pebble bark nuggets are 3/4″ to 1.5″ in size. Like the large nuggets, there is no dust in this product and they are very long lasting.

    Application: decorative, flower beds

    Blowing, delivery, and you-haul are available for this product.

    Not what you’re looking for? Try one of the links below or give us a call at 503-248-2275
    Wood Chips, Soil, & Mulch
    Rock & Sand Products
    Other Products

    Red Hemlock Bark Mulch by the Yard

    Red Hemlock Bark Mulch

    • 100% Pure Hemlock

    • A rich, natural reddish color which accents plants in the garden and creates contrast among all the green growing things

    • This mulch has strong reddish tones adding rich color to landscapes.

    • Very aromatic, with long-lasting color


    Organic mulch is a gardener’s best friend. It improves water retention, reduces weed growth, maintains soil temperature and enhances the look of your landscape.

    Additionally, not only does it provide aesthetic value for your property, but it also has significant environmental benefits. In the winter it insulates roots, preventing quick freezing, and during the summer heat it conserves soil moisture.

    Mulch also acts as a security blanket for plants and trees. See how it works, below.


    There are several factors to be considered when someone asks how much mulch to apply and when to apply it. Some of these factors include your soil, the amount of rainfall you receive, and the amount of weeds you have.

    Some guideline to follow:

    • Start with a 3-4” deep layer for most mulches and soils. For a barrier, you can use a weed mat or landscape fabric to keep the amount of weeds to a minimum.

    • Water your soil before applying mulch if it is dry, to make it easier to pull weeds.

    • You can apply mulch at just about anytime, but it is important to remember how the ground changes with the seasons.

    It is best to weed the planned area before applying any mulch. Then, spread a layer of mulch over the entire area, keeping it 2 to 3 inches away from the stems of woody plants. The benefit to proper mulching is that it prevents plant decay caused by wet mulch and rodent damage during the winter.


    • Not mulching at all

    • Excessive mulching

    • Choosing quantity over quality

    • Mounding mulch around trees

    • Using plastic weed barriers beneath mulch

    • Applying mulch that consists of all large pieces

    • Using repurposed wood chips, from branches and trimmings, as mulch chips

    • Making use of stones and rocks as mulch

    • Using uncomposted organic mulches, like grass clippings

    • Sourcing free mulch

    • Not spreading it evenly

    • Mulching a layer that is too thin

    • Not weeding before laying the mulch down

    • Mulching too close to your house


    Our premium mulch products are produced from virgin forest products. No recycled products are used in the manufacturing of any of the mulches.

    Red Hemlock is 100% organic.


    A correctly mulched tree is a happy tree.

    Mulch that is spread out evenly (at 2-3” deep) in a circle around the tree, keeping it away from the base, is ideal. In doing this, the roots are protected and insulated by the mulch, but still have room near the trunk to breathe.

    An improperly mulched tree is a sad tree.

    Mulching too much, and too close to the tree trunk can smother roots, making it hard for them to get necessary ventilation. Therefore, the roots will either end up girdling the tree or rotting. If the roots girdle the tree, it will most likely die from strangling. If they rot, it may lead to the tree becoming unstable and more prone to falling down.


    Northeast Nursery supplies four types of mulch, four different colors. Though their names help define their colors, some people are more visual. Below is an image that may assist you in choosing the color you desire for your particular landscape or project.

    The Red Hemlock, does in fact, have a reddish color.

    The Aged Dark is dark brown, almost black in color.

    The Pine Spruce has more golden brown tones.

    The Playground mulch is the lightest of the bunch, with natural yellow tones.


    Mulch delivery prices on the North Shore & Greater Boston Area

    Calculate the amount of mulch you need

    Our direct mulch program

    Ordering mulch from Northeast Nursery


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