Portland Oregon Landscape and Tree Care

Portland Barkdust Mulch Benefits

Ordering referrals | Calculating Coverage.

Portland Barkdust, Beaverton, Tigard, Sherwood, Tualatin, Lake Oswego, West Linn and Wilsonville

To Order & For Barkdust Delivery, Contact:

Valley Landscape Center on Hy. 99 in Sherwood.

S & H Logging near Stafford Rd. x 205

M. D. Vaden does not supply or deliver.

If you don't know how to measure your yard and calculate for an order, a few tips are offered below. Reasons or benefits for mulching are provided too.

bark and mulch area calculator

Most likely, you will order by cubic yard or by truck load. In Oregon, truck loads are typically "one unit": about 7.5 cubic yards. I will base this section on the assumption that 1 truck load is a "unit".

One "unit" covers 1100 square feet 2 inches deep. It will cover eleven 10' x 10' areas 2 inches deep, because each 10' x 10' area equals 100 square feet. If you only want to spread mulch 1 inch deep, the unit will cover 2200 square feet: or twenty-two 10' x 10' areas.

One cubic yard covers roughly 150 square feet 2 inches deep: like 15' x 10 or a narrow strip like 5' x 30''.

So you basically just need to measure your bare soil areas or shrub beds to find out the total number of square feet.

I divide all the areas into 3 basic shapes. Rectangles, circles and triangles. If shrubs beds in a landscape are irregular, I still try to divide them into a crude combination of rectangles, circles and triangles, and add them all together.

For example, look to the right at the shape resembling a crude house drawing. That is divided into a rectangle plus a triangle. Each part measured separately and then added together. That one would be 18 square feet for the rectangle part and 12 square feet for the triange part. The entire piece of space would be 30 square feet altogether.

Rectangles: multiply length by width. Like the one to the right: 3 x 10 = 30 square feet. If that was 30 x 20 then it would be 600 square feet of area.

Triangles: multiply length by width and divide in half. The triangle to the right has sides of 4 x 4 = 16. Then divide that 16 by 2: the triangle has a total surface area to cover of 8 square feet.

Circles: the area of a circle is Area = Π x r2

Π (Pi) = 3.14. And the area equals 3.14 x radius squared. Radius is half the diameter.

The circle to the right has a diameter of 10, so the radius is 5. The area is 3.14 x 52. Or, written 3.14 x 25 = 78.5. That is the area of that circle in square feet. It needs enough mulch to cover 78 square feet if we round the number. You could actually round 78.5 up to an even 80 square feet.

Irregular Areas: You can see what I did to the right with one irregular shape. Just guesstimated and overlaid an approximate rectangle to simplify measurement rather than chopping all the lobes into little separate pieces.

Circle Diameter
Square Feet

Circle Chart

Since circles may be a bit awkward for some folks to do the math for, here is a circle solver chart to the right for several circle sizes. The chart is based on the circle diameter rather than radius.

Circle Solver Calculator

If you want to calculate online, the square feet of other size circles, there is a calculator on my talles redwoods page that will do the work for you. Visit this link: Page with Circle Solver Calculator

You should be able to measure all the areas in your yard by representing each area with a rectangle, circle or triangle: or combination of those shapes. Whichever shape seems to fit the closest. If you have an oval area, you can do the same thing that I did in the diagram with the imaginary rectangle overlaid on the irregular shape.

Benefits of Mulch

Benefits of barkdust and mulch can't be overstated. I recall an experience years ago in Beaverton, when we planted 30 Rhododendrons in June or July, under Douglas Fir trees - an area of exposed soil with no compost or mulch. Although the weather was nearly 80 degrees, all we expected to do was water each day because the area was mostly in the shade. But the topmost foliage of the newly planted shrubs wilted. Finally, we acquired one cubic yard of barkdust and laid a 3' wide circle of that bark around each plant, about 1” deep. In just one or two days, the leaves perked up like the day of purchase. In one week there was more new growth sprouting.

The clay soil around the planting holes that had been like a brick from lack of moisture, could now be penetrated with a shovel relatively easy. It changed from brick-like to being moist and pliable. The barkdust promoted new plant growth and better soil conditions.

Soil benefits from an organic top layer and garden bark mulch provides that.

Bare soil can be compacted by rain drops. Rain can compact the top soil particles and cause more erosion. Barkdust can stop the impact and protect soil below. This is especially useful for cities in Oregon, which receive a lot of rain.

The city drains in those cities can be spared much of the excess rain runoof water if residents apply mulch. Barkdust is one of the best garden products to help cover soil.

Barkdust reduces compaction from rain, reduces erosion, shades roots, holds moisture. It also insulates roots and soil from freezing temperatures, and it looks good.

Bark is also useful for tree root preservation at construction sites. If thick layers are placed around the drip line of trees, soil compaction can be prevented or reduced.

The use or absence of barkdust or mulch will frequently make or break the success of newly planted trees and shrubs in landscaping.

Barkdust and mulch, release compounds that improve the structure of soil - like polysaccharides and glomalin. The result is increased movement of air, moisture and beneficial microorganisms in the ground.

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