This past week we sent proposals out to our customers who are due for re-bark dusting their shrub beds this spring. This would have been recommended as a part of our budget proposal and should be considered an important landscape enhancement.
There is nothing that can have greater impact to sprucing up the appearance of a landscape than a fresh coat of bark dust. There are many benefits to maintaining a sufficient layer of mulch, but the greatest is keeping your shrub beds looking fresh and clean.
In addition to making your shrub beds look better, there are many positive ecological benefits to bark mulch:
· Mulch reduces soil erosion especially on slopes which is important during our rainy winters.
· Soil moisture retention is improved with a good mulch layer, reducing irrigation need during our dry summers.
· Fresh bark dust is weed free and acts as a natural weed barrier. It also improves the effectiveness of chemical pre-emergence. Weeds are hard to control on bare soil or decomposed bark.
We recommend re-bark dusting every two years to maintain the best appearance and positive properties of mulch. The best time to re-bark dust is early spring, after we finish our winter pruning and pre-emergence application. Our preference is to use fresh ground fir mulch as it stays looking fresh longer. Although some prefer the dark look of composted bark, we discourage it as it is more expensive and does not last as long. The dark color is due to it being partly decomposed. Regardless of our preference, we will do either, whichever you prefer.