Not all mulches
In nature, plants use fallen bark and other natural
debris as a protective covering. When mulch is applied
around landscaping and gardens it adds that same
Mulch protects the delicate roots of a plant from
excessive heat and drought in the summer and helps
them resist alternate freezing and thawing throughout
the winter. Mulch also helps plants to retain
moisture, prevent erosion, control weeds, enrich the
soil and adds a decorative appearance to all
There are many different types and blends of mulches:
Mixed Softwoods, hardwoods - Mix of Bark & Hardwood
Quality and Price
of mulch is determined by the type of wood and blends.
We handle many grades of mulch:
Choice Blend Premium Bark Mulch - Highest
Quality. Made from Oak and hardwoods [Approximately
80% bark - 20% wood] . No wood added other
than small amounts of wood when the tree is debarked.
Aged and processed to kill weed seeds and insects.
Uniform dark color and size.
Choice Blend Premium Nature Mulch - Mostly
hardwood with some bark added [Approximately 80% wood
- 20% bark]. Uniform size. Color
will bleach lighter than bark because of the wood
Aged to kill weed seeds and insects. Some people call
this mulch double shredded premium hardwood mulch.
Coffee Brown Mulch - This is dyed nature
mulch.. Color is dark brown. It holds this color for 1
- 2 seasons. This is "NOT" dyed pallet mulch. Uniform
in color and size. Aged to kill weed seeds & insects.
Midnight Black Mulch - This mulch is dyed
NATURE mulch. Color is dark black. Holds this color
for 1 to 2 seasons. This is "NOT" dyed pallet mulch.
Uniform in color and size. Aged to kill weed seeds and
Playground Mix - This mulch is designed for use under playground equipment. Light in
color. Fine pieces to approximate 3/4" size. Used by
schools, nursery schools and homeowners. Drains fairly
Heritage Red Mulch - This mulch is dyed red
pallet mulch. Deep red in color, uniform in size. Does
not hold moisture well. Stays red 1 - 2 seasons.
Woodchips - Also known as land clearing mulch.
Not uniform in size or color. Used for ground cover in
wooded areas and erosion control. Not a decorative
will gladly explain the different types and blends of
mulches so that you, the customer can make a wise
choice for your next mulch project. Stop by for free
Landscape mulches are used to protect soil, conserve
moisture, moderate soil temperature, and limit weed
growth, as well as beautify and unify landscape
plantings. Most mulches are mixtures of shredded wood
and bark residues from lumber and paper mills,
arboricultural and land-clearing operations, and
wooden pallet disposal or recycling facilities.
Like other organic matter, wood and bark decompose
over time. The primary organisms involved with their
decomposition are bacteria and fungi, which derive
their energy for growth from the carbon-based
compounds found in wood and bark. These compounds
include cellulose, lignin, and simple sugars. Bacteria
are microscopic organisms that are not visible in the
mulch. Fungi also may be microscopic, but many develop
visible reproductive structures.
The fungi involved in the decomposition of landscape
mulches are natural components of the mulch
environment. Some fungi, such as the artillery fungus,
are "recyclers" and break down woody tissue directly.
Other fungi, such as slime molds, consume bacteria and
other organisms living in the mulch. These fungi are
not harmful to landscape plants, and no known health
hazards are associated with them unless they are
eaten. They can be found from April through October,
usually following rainy weather.
Listed below are four common types of fungi growing in
landscape mulches in the eastern United
State--mushrooms, slime molds, bird's nest fungus, and
the artillery fungus:
Common names: Mushrooms, toadstools
Scientific names: Many different fungi product
What do mushrooms look like? They come in various
colors, shapes and sizes ranging from less than an
inch to several inches tall. Some are soft and fleshy
and disappear soon after they emerge; others may
remain in mulch for a few days, weeks, or an entire
Are they a problem? They may be poisonous if eaten.
What should be done? Appreciate their beauty; ignore
them; or remove them.
Common names: slime molds, "dog vomit" fungus
Scientific names: species of Physarum, Fuligo, and
What do slime molds look like? They start as brightly
colored (yellow, orange, etc.) slimy masses that are
several inches to more than a foot across. They
produce many tiny, dark spores. These molds dry out
and turn brown, eventually appearing as a white, dry
Are they a problem? No. These fungi are "feeding" on
bacteria growing in the mulch. They are normally a
temporary nuisance confined to small areas.
What should be done? The fungi may be left in place to
decompose. If their appearance if offensive, discard
the fruiting bodies in the garbage or sprinkle lime
over the top to change the PH.
BIRD'S NEST FUNGUS
Common names: bird's nest fungus
Scientific names: species of Crucibulum and Cyathus
What do bird's nest fungi look like? They resemble
tiny grey to brown bird's nests or splash cups with
eggs. The nest is up to 1/4 inch in diameter.
Are they a problem? These fungi may grow in large
areas of mulch. The "egg nests"
are masses of spores that splash out. These spores occasionally stick to
surfaces, as do the spores of the artillery fungus.
What should be done? Turn your mulch over &
break it up at least 1 a month. These naturally occurring
fungi decompose organic matter and do not need to be
removed. They are interesting to look at--show them to
Common names: artillery fungus, cannon fungus, shotgun
Scientific name: species of Sphaerobolus
What do artillery fungi look like? They resemble a
tiny cream or orange-brown cup with one black egg. The
cup is approximately 1/10 of an inch in diameter.
Areas of mulch with artillery fungi may appear matted
and lighter in color than the surrounding mulch.
Are they a problem? They may be a problem. The artillery fungus "shoots" its
black, sticky spore mass, which can be windblown as
high as the second story of a house. The spore mass
sticks to the side of a building or automobile,
resembling a small speck of tar. You may also find
them on the undersides of leaves on plants growing in
mulches areas. One in place, the spore mass is very
difficult to remove without damaging the surface to
which it is attached. If removed, it leaves a stain. A
few of these spots are barely noticeable, but as they
accumulate, they may become very unsightly on houses
What should be done? ? To date, there are no known
controls for this fungus. With support from the
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and private
mulch producers, Penn State researches are studying
One solution to the artillery fungus problem that is
not horticulturally sound is to replace wood-based
mulch with other types of mulch, such as black plastic
or stone, in critical areas adjacent to homes and