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The Mulch and Soil Council, an industry trade group, estimates Americans put down 20 million to 22 million cubic yards of the bagged things each year and another 30 million to 40 million cubic backyards of wood mulch purchased wholesale, excluding any roadway and highway tasks. Growth is running at 5% to 8% a year.

com While numerous see mulch as simply boosting a garden’s look, a layer of mulch also assists conserve water by retaining wetness in the soil along with preventing weeds. But it’s also an uncontrolled productand, as industry experts and organic-gardening supporters alike point out, it can include more than simply tree trunks and branches.

Observing straight edges or square corners in your mulch? Those aren’t virgin materials and rather could be ground-up plywood or laminate, says Robert LaGasse, the Mulch and Soil Council’s executive director. Keep an eye out for contaminant and paint chips also. Stay away from so-called mulch gypsies who use a “excellent offer” on a truckload of mulch, and always ask where a bulk load of compost was made or acquired, he says.

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And that’s not something you desire kids and family pets around. “It might hurt your canine or feline more than the plant,” he includes. How to find quality mulch? The Mulch and Soil Council has a program that certifies safe mulch. (Look for a sign on the bag, generally on the back.) But involvement by makers as well as retailers is voluntary, and bags that don’t carry the sign aren’t necessarily bad.

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However it does not license the real mulch, only whether the manufacturers have the proper authorizations, training and company operations in place to produce a quality item, he says. Lawn companies typically overdo the mulch, surrounding tree trunks with a lot of the stuff that the appearance is known in the industry as “mulch volcanoes”.

“My concern is that if lawn-service workers do not comprehend that, what else do not they know?” he asks. Among the problems, these volcanoes give animals such as voles a location to tunnel and after that nibble at the bark, which damages the tree, especially if it is young. A thick layer of mulch can likewise keep rainwater from leaking through to the plant’s roots, which is particularly damaging throughout the growing season, she says.

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Ziehler says that mulch misuse is “a problem we see every year” and one that expert gardeners generally prevent. Certainly, the Mulch and Soil Council recommends a layer of mulch in between 2 inches and 4 inches thick and prompts property owners to take mulch out to the edge of the tree canopy, where roots are most active in absorbing water.

Nor need to mulch be put within 20 feet to 40 feet of a light-colored home or automobile because a fungus can emerge that shoots tar-like balls. That type of cosmetic damage may not be covered by property owner insurance, he adds.

Full-service lawn care business generally use a vast array of lawn care services, including mowing, mulching, landscaping, leaf elimination, tree and shrub care, and more. Companies might offer additional specialized services, depending on your location and the kind of company. For instance, a business might supply seasonal maintenance services such as aeration, hedge trimming and weeding, while another provides pest control, seeding services and grub control.