Hardwood chips vs. landscape bark

Landscape bark and hardwood chips are frequently utilized as mulch material around flowerbeds, trees, and plants. They enhance the aesthetics of your landscape while weeds are controlled, moisture is retained, soil temperature is moderated, and compaction is avoided. Nevertheless, the two items are distinct from one another and each has benefits and drawbacks that, depending on your environment and requirements, may favor one over the other.

Regarding Landscape Bark

Home gardeners utilize landscape bark, which is often formed from the bark of softwood trees like pine, spruce, fir, and redwood, as an attractive mulch material. The bark is mechanically removed from the trees by those that produce landscape bark, and it is then shred or graded for use as a landscaping material. There are several sizes available, and it is often processed into chunks, granules, or shreds of material. Bark pieces for landscaping often endure longer than shredded or granulated items.

Regarding Wood Chips

Chipped wood from a number of hardwood species, such as oak and maple, makes up hardwood chips. Although garden stores frequently sell them, you may also get hardwood chips from utility or landscaping firms who remove or trim trees. Hardwood chips fade rapidly, taking on a gray or worn appearance, making them less ornamental than landscape bark, which tends to keep its color for several seasons.

Bark and its Uses at Garden


Bark mulches allow adequate water penetration into the soil and have great compaction resistance, making them less prone to fly away. According to experts they enhance the landscape’s beauty by adding color and texture. Landscape bark decomposes more quickly than hardwood chips while retaining its beautiful color. Unless it has been washed away, this form of wood mulch only has to be replaced every two to three years.

Wood chips are excellent for retaining moisture and controlling temperature, and they are very difficult to be blown or washed away. They are excellent for controlling weeds since they don’t compress as other materials do. Hallstone claims that using wood chips in paths is ideal.


Landscape bark has a tendency to wash away quickly when applied on slopes. When applied around young plants, some varieties of landscape bark, especially those that are fresh or that have been carelessly stored, may be poisonous. Due to the high carbon to nitrogen ratio of hardwood chips, they may momentarily limit the nitrogen available to plants during the breakdown process. By fertilizing plants with nitrogen after mulching them with hardwood chips, this may be balanced.

Due to their quick deterioration and fading look, gardeners frequently replace hardwood chips every year, but doing so can smother the roots and lead to cankers forming at the base of trees and shrubs. Although termites can be an issue in any type of wood, they are always present whether or not wood mulches are used since they reside underground. To reduce the likelihood of termite infestations, hardwood chips should be put several inches away from the base of your home rather than up against any building.