Moisture retention, insulation, and weed suppression; mulch is a vital component of a healthy landscape. While wood mulch has long been the go-to choice, in recent years, rubber mulch has become increasingly popular. Whether you’re freshening up your garden beds or you’re planting an entirely new one, you might be trying to decide if rubber mulch is a better option than wood.
Is Rubber Mulch Better Than Wood?
To help you make an informed decision, below, we explore the differences between rubber mulch vs wood mulch and examine the pros and cons of each option.
What is Wood Mulch?
Wood mulch is made of recycled wood, such as bark, branches, and even old wood pallets. These materials are ground down into wood chips, which can vary in size from chunky to fine. The color and texture of wood mulch vary and depend on the type of wood that the mulch is made of as well as the type of cut that was used to make it. Some popular varieties of wood mulch include:
Pros and Cons of Wood Mulch
Pros of Wood Mulch
Since it’s organic, wood mulch is good for the soil. It biodegrades (breakdown) over time and as it does, it feeds the soil and the plants housed within it with vital nutrients. Wood mulch also provides a layer of protection around your plants and soil, as it helps to prevent erosion.
Certain types of wood mulch cedar, cypress, and pine, for example – can even help to keep pests, such as fleas, at bay, and can invite helpful species of fauna, like earthworms, into your gardens. Organic mulch (wood) is also easy to install, it’s available in a variety of colors and sizes, and it will add a natural look to your landscape design.
Cons of Wood Mulch
On the downside, wood mulch compacts over time; the smaller the chips, the more they will compact. Additionally, because it’s organic, it isn’t unusual for fungi growth to occur and once it does, it can take hold and impact the health of your plants and shrubs.
Another potential issue that can occur as a result of wood mulch is pest infestation. Wood mulch attracts termites and other wood-boring pests which can cause serious problems.
What is Rubber Mulch?
Rubber mulch is comprised of recycled tires from cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. While it’s often used as a ground covering in outdoor play areas, it’s also used in garden beds. Like wood, rubber mulch is available in a variety of sizes. When used in landscape design, rubber mulch usually resembles wood; however, there are several color options to choose from, such as red or green, if you’d like to add some interest to your garden.
The Pros and Cons of Rubber Mulch
Pros of Rubber Mulch
Since it’s made of recycled rubber tires, this type of mulch is considered environmentally friendly; in fact, this is one of the major advantages of rubber mulch. Additionally, owing to its denseness, rubber mulch is durable and long-lasting.
Rubber mulch can withstand all types of climates and weather conditions. It also won’t shift or move in high winds and heavy rains, which is a good thing, but since it’s so heavy, it can also be difficult to work with. Rubber mulch retains its color for long periods of time and because it isn’t organic, it doesn’t appeal to pests or fungi.
Cons of Rubber Mulch
Rubber mulch contains zinc and other components that can inhibit plant growth. Another disadvantage of rubber mulch is that it is much more costly than wood mulch and other organic materials.
Which is Better?
Wood and rubber mulch both offer advantages and disadvantages. Which one you should choose is ultimately up to you. Considering your specific needs will help you make the best mulch choice for your landscaping project.
Arbor Hills Landscaping Company Omaha | Best Landscaping Company in Omaha, NE
Arbor Hills Trees & Landscaping Services can provide you with everything from detailed maintenance programs to unique plant production, and other services in between. That means we build water features, walls, patios, irrigation, walkways, outdoor kitchens, lighting, and anything else you can help us dream up. Our professionally trained staff can build the landscape of your dreams and keep you from breaking any Home Landscaping Rules.
Click on a heading bar below for more information:
Fire Pit Designs Landscaping Services
Imagine the ambiance created in your backyard landscape by a custom fire pit. In fact, nothing is more inviting on a cool spring night or for fall and winter gatherings of family and friends. A fire pit may be used to provide warmth during outdoor entertaining, but also as a heat source for outdoor cooking or simply roasting marshmallows. Our trained custom fire pit installers are experts in turning your vision into reality. More…
Outdoor Living Landscaping Services
Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen offers a professional outdoor kitchen, outdoor fireplace, and outdoor living room design, building, and installation services with FREE ESTIMATES. More…
Retaining Walls Landscaping Services
Enhance the beauty of your landscape with a retaining wall that is customized to coordinate with your home’s exterior. At Arbor Hills, our retaining wall designer will create a functional retaining wall that is aesthetically pleasing for your personal taste, and within your target budget. With the many materials available today, the retaining wall project you’ve been considering is just a phone call away! More…
Stamped and Colored Concrete
It is time to upgrade or replace some of the hardscape features surrounding your home? Stamped and colored concrete is a beautiful and affordable material. It enhances the color and texture featured on your home’s exterior. Stamped concrete in textures from modern to rustic is available to coordinate with your home’s existing design features. Colored concrete can be blended to match or enhance your home’s exterior color scheme. A designer from Arbor Hills will consider all these existing features at your site visit and when designing your project. More…
Patio Pavers Landscaping Services
Concrete pavers are a great way to improve your landscape and garden. In fact, they are super strong and lend themselves to many hardscaping projects. They rarely crack but if they do, each piece is easily replaceable. More…
Landscape Lighting Designs
Outdoor lighting can be nearly as important to the overall look and feel of your home as the landscaping itself. So you shouldn’t short-change yourself by skimping on quality lighting products. We are a full-service landscape and waterscape company that can solve all of your residential and commercial lighting needs anywhere in Omaha and the surrounding areas. More…
Water Feature Landscaping Designs
Imagine the sight and sound of bubbling water as you relax in your outdoor sanctuary. A water feature can give just the right ambiance to your outdoor retreat. Or, if you are looking for a water feature with traffic-slowing curb appeal, a designer from Arbor Hills will help you choose the water feature that best enhances your home. More…
Sod Installation Services
Whether you have just built your home, cleared agricultural land for your personal use or simply want to improve the look of your existing yard, having sod installed is a fast way to create the lush, green carpet of grass you want. It offers instant satisfaction rather than the weeks of waiting and anticipating whether or not your grass seed is going to grow. Plus, using sod offers a host of other benefits. More…
Mulch & Rock Landscaping Services
The concept, to design, to delivery and installation, we have more than 20 years of experience in the landscaping industry in Omaha and surrounding areas. Our services include delivery, full installation, and clean-up of mulch and rock around your beds, trees, and more. More…
Plants & Shrubs Landscaping
Plants and shrubs are the backbone of your landscape, therefore they should be the first things you plant. Proper selection will enhance a home’s appearance and increase property value while reflecting the homeowner’s style and personality. More…
Let our trained nursery professionals assist you in selecting the perfect tree or shrub to complete your landscape. We carry a selection that is unmatched in Omaha and the surrounding areas and are willing and eager to explain our favorites. Improved varieties are introduced each year and we always strive to carry the best and newest – varieties more resistant to disease, shade trees better able to withstand storm damage and ornamentals in unique colors, shapes, and sizes you have to see to believe. More…