Wood Chips vs Mulch

Bark Mulch, Wood Products, Wood Residuals | 26 September 2019

Although wood chips and bark mulch may seem like the same thing to many, as both are broken down wood products, there are many differences that are important to note when gardening and landscaping. At Valley Carriers, we provide a variety of bulk landscaping materials, and we know the importance of understanding the benefits and uses of wood chips vs mulch in your yard.

Wood Chips vs Bark Mulch: What is the Difference?

Wood chips and bark mulch bear a large number of similarities. Both products are used as ground cover in gardens, both are wood by-products, both help suppress weed growth, and both look fantastic when used on trails or in yards; however, these two landscaping materials are not interchangeable.

What are Wood Chips?

Wood chips are chopped up chunks of wood made from downed trees. While this product can contain bits of bark, leaves, and branches, it is primarily made out of the wood of a tree. Wood chips tend to be larger and chunkier than mulch, and they provide a much cleaner ground cover than mulch does. Because wood chips are bigger and bulkier than bark mulch, they do not provide as much insulation for plant roots and they do not retain moisture as well. Although wood chips can release nutrients into soil in a similar fashion to bark mulch, wood chips do not possess the same nutritional value as bark mulch. Wood chips tend to last longer without compacting than bark mulch, which makes it ideal for use in areas with large amounts of foot traffic, such as playgrounds and trails.

What is Bark Mulch?

Bark mulch is made from shredded pieces of bark and organic plant matter. It is ideal for use in gardens to provide nutrients to the soil, insulate plant roots, and retain moisture in the soil. Bark mulch is finer than wood chips and it is predisposed to break down faster and provide more nutrition to plants, which makes it better for use in garden areas.

If you are interested in finding out more about the differences between wood chips and mulch, or if you are interested in any of the bulk materials that we provide or our hauling services, please contact Valley Carriers at 604-853-1075.