Teddy12b
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What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

I've been watching the Dave Wilson Nursery you tube videos where he talks about how much mulch he uses and why he uses it and it's really got me thinking. When I originally planted my trees in the spring I didn't do any mulching at all. Honestly, I was lucky enough I could afford the trees and talk my wife into letting me do this let alone spend the time and money to go around each tree very nicely and get a good solid layer of mulch around each tree. Now, nearly a year later and I'm looking at all my fruit trees that I've got planted in a nearly 80' x 80' area and I'm going to be getting a local mulch company to deliver and dump about 40 yards of mulch out there to start with. What the guy from the you tube videos said about mulching the whole area made a lot of sense, and for me not having a pickup getting a huge truckload delivered seems to be the best way to go, hoping I can get them to dump a little here and a little here to save me some time smoothing it all out. With the final depth and area I'd like to cover this 40 yard truckload of mulch is likely going to just be a good start and not a final delivery.

So in a nut shell, I plan on getting a lot of mulch and spreading it across my entire fruit tree area and I don't want to get the wrong kind and screw it up. I'm planning on just getting non treated raw chewed up mulch, but is there something else I should look for or try to avoid?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

Most organic materials would be fine, including straw, pine needles, shredded bark, wood chips. The main thing you want to watch out for is keeping the mulch away from the trunks of your tree. You want at least a couple inches between tree and mulch. Ideally you would taper the mulch, so that it gets thicker as you go away from the trunk.
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applestar
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

You can also plan on getting free or nearly free type mulch and layering that UNDER the nice aesthetically uniform purchased mulch spread on top.

Composted anything (leaf pile, spoiled hay and straw, manure, power company wood chips, good quality municipal mulch) are good choices too. If you have the space (like the empty spaces between the trees), you could start making several large piles now to start breaking down over the winter.
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Teddy12b
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

Part of my intent with getting the mulch out there soon was so that it'd start breaking down over the winter. I'm hoping that getting large piles of mulch back there would be a yearly thing that I could keep adding to for touching up the light spots.

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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

A thin layer of pine bark mulch (or soil conditioner) applied yearly will go further (and lighter on your wallet) than 4-- ten yard loads of bark. Thats enough mulch for a thousand or more trees.
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ReptileAddiction
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

I recommend calling local tree trimming companies and asking them to give you their shredded up waste (like applestar mentioned). It is not even that bad looking either so you could do this instead of getting the mulch trucked in. I imagine that will be quite a large bill.

Teddy12b
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

The mulch guy I talked to is just down the road from where I work. He basically collects the trees from people and shreds them for resale. I think it was going to be around $250 for 40 yards of mulch delivered. I didn't think that sounded unreasonable at all. That's going to be a bunch of mulch that'll last a long time and at least get a decent base layer down to start helping the trees.

DoubleDogFarm
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

$1000. on Island. About $25.00 per yard from the landscape material yard.

Free from the County. :D I'm on their list again this year. My neighbor received two loads so far. :twisted:

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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

Teddy12b wrote:The mulch guy I talked to is just down the road from where I work. He basically collects the trees from people and shreds them for resale. I think it was going to be around $250 for 40 yards of mulch delivered. I didn't think that sounded unreasonable at all. That's going to be a bunch of mulch that'll last a long time and at least get a decent base layer down to start helping the trees.
That is not bad but you could get free mulch and at least 5 new trees :)

Teddy12b
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

I've been looking for better pricing, but so far the best I've been able to come across is $5 per yard with a $65 delivery fee that can get 50 yards in one dump truck. $5 x 50 =$250 + $65 = $315. That's not cheap by any means, but it seems like it'd be a good investment. You'd put a brand new car in a garage, you'd put a hunting rifle in a safe, maybe I just have to look at the mulch as a means to protect the hundreds of $$'s I've already got into the orchard. It seems to make sense for me to do it other than I just don't really want to spend any $$, but nobody ever does. The area I decided on is going to be roughly 80' x 100' and 50 yards will get me about 2" throughout. It's not like the 3" that the Dave Wilson Nursery's were recommending, but once there's a base layer I can always build up from there.

Teddy12b
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

Just in case anyone is following this and is curious. I had a message into the guy to call me so we could schedule a day for him to drop it off. He was on vacation for a week, but finally got back with me. Basically the $5 stuff is material that's been passed through the chipper/grinder once, but could contact some small little logs & branches that aren't cut. He charges $5 per yard for that. What he refers to as "contractors mulch" is stuff he's passed through the chipper/grinder twice and that he can be sure is normal presentable looking mulch. For what I want to do I think the cheaper $5 stuff is going to work just as well since nobody is ever going to see it and this is my base layer. I think the argument could be made that the contractor mulch being ground up smaller and finer would compost into the soil quicker, so maybe that's something I should take into consideration. Either way, there's about a foot of snow out back right now covering the entire orchard. I wish I'd have gotten the mulch down before all this snow hit, but at least I had a bunch of straw around each tree.

tomc
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

The longest over the road straight job dump-truck holds about ten (not fourty) cubic yards. Stop at one $ 315.00 load.

I'd go with the coarser contractor mulch too.
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ReptileAddiction
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

I still do not understand why you do not want to get the exact same stuff for free. That is the same stuff as you can get from the tree pruning companies. They take their pruned off branches and shred them up. They are usually looking for a place to dump them because they do not want them and have so much.

Anyway sounds good!

Teddy12b
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

I've tried looking all over for free mulch. Believe me, I'd prefer to get it for free, but so far I haven't come across anywhere I can get it for free. In my area, this seems to be the best deal going.

imafan26
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

Do you have a municipal composting facility. Sometimes they have mulch for free. It will be made of materials that have been shredded but did not break down.

Also call the local tree trimmers in the area and ask them to drop a load at your house. Most will be happy to if they are working in the area, it saves them traveling time and tipping charges to dump. Here we have to ask them what is in the mulch, certain trees are not wanted like palms because they do not chip they shred into very large pieces and they take years to break down and be pickly you want bark ,chips not weeds.
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PunkRotten
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

I am kind of afraid of the municipal mulch. I have used it before and found all kinds of foreign materials in it including, plastics, rubber, rocks and more. I found out the source of the mulch comes from the green recycling bins from homes. Given that information, those yard scraps could have pesticides and other toxic chemicals mixed in. I'd use it for an ornamental garden but not an edible one.

Teddy12b
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Re: What should I look out for with the type of mulch I use?

I've been reassured that the mulch I'd be buying isn't going to be full of junk and trash.

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