Landscaping Mulch

Why do I need Mulch?

Properly applied mulch is naturally a good thing for plants and for the gardener, too.

When you mulch your gardens, you will spend less time weeding and watering.

Mulch:

  • discourages weed growth, more nutrients for the garden plants
  • keeps the soil moist, prevents erosion, leaching and compaction of your soil, keeping the root zone healthy so your plants can thrive.
  • provides insulation for the roots both summer and winter.
  • beautifies your landscape – a mulched garden gives it the “finished, professional” look.

What is the best kind of mulch to use?

BARK MULCH is aged and partially composted tree bark and is a good choice for most gardens.  It contains no additives and will continue to decompose and add nutrients to the soil, while providing all the benefits of mulch.

COLOURED MULCH is a good choice for landscaping and provides color, interest and a very good weed barrier.  It is made with softwood chips which are a fairly consistent size and then coloured with a concentrated, environmentally safe colorant mixed with water and applied to the wood fibers. You can expect the color to last 2 -3 years and it is colourfast after it dries.  It will decompose more slowly than the bark mulch taking longer to add nutrients to the soil.  A light raking will refresh the color and top dressing with a fresh inch or so each spring will keep your landscaping looking its best.

How do I figure out how much mulch I need?

The first step is the measure the square footage of the area you want to cover.  If your beds are odd shaped or round, you may have to estimate this.

Then use the following formula:

Square footage(length X width) X depth in inches X 0.0031  = cubic yards required.

Use our handy calculator on the Mulch page.

How safe and environmentally friendly is the mulch colourant?

The colorants in colored mulch are safe for people, animals, and the environment. In fact, recent independent laboratory studies looked at colored mulch very closely to determine its toxicity.

In the studies, toxicity is tested using a variety of reaction types — from acute oral, skin, and inhalation toxicity to eye and skin irritation. The results place the colorant used in colored mulch into the lowest and safest level of toxicity possible — Category IV ― the same level as the sugar you put in your coffee (which is not to say we recommend consuming it). By contrast, table salt and baking soda have higher levels of toxicity.

How should I prepare for putting the mulch on my garden?

For good weed control, it is best to weed the bed before applying mulch.  Landscape fabric may be used, but is recommended only in areas that are not windy, and have trees, shrubs or perennials.  For new applications, 4 to 6 inches is a good depth.  If the bed already has mulch, then a top dressing of an inch or two will keep the beds looking good. Keep the mulch 12 – 18” away from the foundation of your house, and 6 or more inches away from the tree trunks and the stems of plant.  Mulch piled up around the base of trees and plants may cause diseases and fungus to grow.

Lumber

Do you sell retail?

We sell to anyone and everyone. We offer discounts on orders over $5000.

What sizes do you carry?

We will make lumber any size you want it. We do carry some inventory in common sizes like 2 x 4, 2 x 6, 1 x 6, 4 x 4 etc.

Is the lumber rough or dressed?

We supply both rough and dressed lumber.

Rough lumber – as it comes from the sawmill or bandsaw is available in dimensions 3/8” x 1” up to 16” x 16” in lengths up to 26’.

We can Dress (plane) any size lumber that we saw, plus pieces up to 20” x 20”.

What species of wood do you have? Is anyone species better than another?

There are several conifer (softwood) species available. Each species has applications that it is best for.

SPF – (spruce/pine/fir) is the Maritime lumber industry standard grade found in all building supply stores. It is normally grade stamped thereby it can be used in all construction. This grade is the best for general construction work and is the least expensive lumber available. Nova Tree has SPF that is not grade stamped. It can be used on barns, sheds and any place not requiring grade stamped lumber. Using our rough SPF will give you 30-40% more wood for your dollar.

Pine – White and Red – ideal for finish work, furniture construction. It accepts fasteners better than spruce. It also can be dressed and/or sanded to a smoother, splinter free finish. As a pressure treated product, it absorbs much more chemical than spruce, hemlock, or tamarack larch. Wood with preservative chemical in it does not rot. It is the untreated wood inside the stick that rots out first.

Hemlock – is recognized for its rot resistance compared to spruce and pine. This started in the late 1800’s when hemlock trees were cut down for their bark from which tannins where extracted and used to tan leather. Hemlock is now used on deck, wharfs and raised garden beds. It is available in bigger demensions than Tamarack Larch, thus it is used framing and timber wall construction. When used for decking, it does splinter more than any other species available.

Tamarack Larch – has rot resistance equal to or greater than hemlock. It also finishes well to a splinter rare, multicolored presentation. It has a tendency to warp, but that can be managed with careful handling and storing of the lumber if it will not be used right away.

Do I have to order ahead and if so, how long will it take before my order is ready?

Usually custom orders for lumbers are filled in 1-3 days during late autumn and winter. During spring and early summer the lead time can grow to 4-5 weeks. Although we carry some stock and can fill some orders completely from stock, most orders require some custom pieces.

How is lumber measured?

The common method of measuring wood is by the board feet measure (bfm).

The numbers are always written in the same order 2 x 4 x 8 means thickness (T) in inches – 2 x width (W) in inches – 4 x length (L) in feet – 8

The formula is T” xW” x L’/12. A 2 x 4 x 8/12 equals 5.333 bfm

What is the difference between actual and nominal sizes in lumber?

Rough lumber is measured in actual sizes. A 2 x 4 x 8 will normally measure within 1/8” of the declared sizes. This is the actual size.

Dressed lumber is sized depending on size of the stick before it is dressed/planed.

Standard practice when dressing/planing is to reduce the piece of lumber by ½” in thickness.

Therefore a dressed 2 x 4 x 8 actually measures 1.5” x 3.5” x 8’. This is a nominal 2 x 4 x 8.