Application of wood mulch at the surface of plant beds and around trees or shrubs helps to conserve water, control weeds and moderate soil temperatures. A 2-4 inches depth typically is sufficient, and should be maintained with periodic application. Wood adds up soil organic matter (SOM) as it slowly breaks down and mixes with the soil. Fresh wood should not be mixed into the soil, as microorganisms operating decomposition also take up nitrogen, making this important and limited nutrient unavailable to the plants ‒at least temporarily.
Two main types of wood mulch are 'rameal chipped wood' and 'trunk wood'. Rameal chipped wood tends to have a higher nutrient content than trunk wood. It is made from small to medium-sized green branches up to 7 cm in diameter, while trunk wood is made from whole trees.Typical specific weight of wood mulch can be 11-12 lb/cu ft.
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