Discerning gardeners have probably noticed that many landscapers in the Denver area have a tendency to use cedar or redwood bark mulches. While these products are attractive, they have several disadvantages, especially with regard to sustainability and environmental friendliness. For one thing, these products have to be shipped in from elsewhere, which adds to the overall cost. And shipping, of course, necessitates an increased use of fossil fuels, which goes against the very definition of sustainability. Cedar and redwood bark mulches also tend to stay “fluffier” than some of the other types of mulch, which means they don’t always stay in place in windy areas like Denver, Colorado.
If you are concerned about the effect of mulch on the environment, looking for mulches produced in the local area is a good first step. But be careful. Some locally produced mulches are produced from recycled wood products, which often include a variety of construction debris containing chemical preservatives that you do not want leaching into the soil. Plus, they can include nails, screws or large staples.
Natural wood mulch is made from trees, shrubs and tree limbs (only) and has a lot of advantages. It comes from the local area, which saves on shipping costs and fossil fuels. It mats down and stays put, slowly breaking down over time to improve the quality and texture of the soil underneath. Mountain High’s Supreme Organic Mulch, produced right here in Lakewood, is a high quality landscape mulch. It is made from 100% recycled green tree debris supplied by Mountain High Tree Service and other local tree services. It is available in natural color, as well as colored varieties created with Colorbiotics technology, a process that creates vibrant, natural looking colors that can last up to two years.
Mulching your trees, shrubs, and gardens has many benefits. It insulates the soil and protects plant roots from temperature extremes, it decreases evaporation by as much as 35% (which is especially useful during summer droughts), and it helps to suppress weed growth, which limits competition for needed nutrients and moisture.
When you get ready to mulch this spring, consider a locally-produced, environmentally friendly option that will also save you money.