There are several kinds of shredded mulch on the market, some of which are organic. One of the more popular types of organic mulch is made from wood that has been ground into small pieces or slivers. Another kind of mulch that has been shredded is rubber mulch. Although it is not organic, this mulch is environmentally friendly because it uses recycled rubber tires. Shredded mulch can also be created out of recycled organic yard waste, using wood chips, grass clippings, twigs, or leaves that have been cut up.
Shredded wood mulch is made by grinding up bark that has been stripped from trees before the logs are processed into lumber. The type of wood used varies, depending on where the mulch originates. This mulch could consist of poplar, oak, pine, cypress, cedar, cherry or maple wood. The mulch can be left a natural wood color or dyed in earth tones, such as gold, red, brown, black or tan.
This kind of shredded mulch comes in different consistencies: singled shredded, double shredded or triple shredded. While the shredding process changes the appearance of the mulch, it also affects how long it will last before it decomposes. In general, the single shredded mulch will last longer because it has bigger pieces of wood that take longer to break down. While the triple shredded mulch has a consistency that could be easier to work with, it may need to be top dressed more frequently.
On the non-organic side, shredded rubber mulch will last much longer than wood mulch. This relatively new type of mulch is made out of recycled rubber tire sidewalls. It can be found in some playgrounds as it provides a soft cushion under jungle gyms, swings and slides. Shredded rubber can also be useful for landscaping purposes as it does not require much maintenance. This shredded mulch can be bought in different colors to match designer landscapes in hues of blue, green, gray and other earth tones.
Of course, if a gardener prefers a more natural look, he or she only has to look to the woods to observe how nature provides an organic leaf, twig, pine needle or branch mulch. Homeowners may choose to make their own mulch recipe, combining the best of what nature has to offer. Leaves that have been shredded, untreated grass clippings, wood chips and twigs can provide an earthy, organic, natural looking mulch that is easy on the pocketbook.