Rubber mulch

valtorrez(6b)February 28, 2010

I have two trees in back yard. One tree has daylillies that surround it at base. I'm not sure how they planted these but in spring daylilly foliage surrond tree. On second tree, weeds and I suspect poison ivy surround it. I was wondering if anyone has put rubber mulch around their trees and how was outcome? I know some people disagree with regular mulch stating it kills tree but what about the rubber kind? I need something to put around base of second tree.

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If regular mulch kills trees, then how would rubber mulch alleve that? Mulch doesn't help trees if it is mounded too far up the base of the tree. It also depeneds on the type of tree (i.e grafted or not). Lots of information out there about proper mulching around tree bases says that mulch is great for trees... that's what all of their dead leaves, if left to their own devices, produce anyway.

Rubber mulch may have other issues that I'm not aware of but, natural mulches will break down and aid in revitalizing the soil with organic matter.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 8:46AM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Rubber mulch looks like what it is: ground up tires. I am all for recycling but this is just very unnatural looking. It gets very warm smells funky on a hot humid day and will leave black marks on your clothes and skin. The local playground had this. Yeah it cushioned falls but the kids came home streaked with black.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 10:04AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Mulch won't kill poison ivy.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 11:13AM
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Organic mulches don't kill trees :-) Even rubber mulch doesn't kill trees although it can leach some unfortunate chemicals and sometimes contains wire fragments. What can kill trees is improper mulching, regardless of the product - too deep and piled up against or high around stems or trunks.

And karin is correct.....mulches seldom kill anything all by themselves, including poison ivy. Weeds need to removed before applying. A reasonable thickness of mulch (2-4inches) will help to supress underlying weed seeds and reduce germination but new seeds can blow in.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 12:28PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

I've had good results using round-up in the spring when PI was in its fast-growing phase. Just apply it carefully, on a windless day. I find adding a surfactant (should be available where you buy your roundup) helpful.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 1:01PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The Bottom Line
 Rubber mulch is not as effective as other organic mulch choices in controlling weeds
 Rubber mulch is highly flammable and difficult to extinguish once it is burning
 Rubber mulch is not permanent; like other organic substances, it decomposes
 Rubber mulch is not non-toxic; it contains a number of metal and organic contaminants with
known environmental and/or human health effects

Here is a link that might be useful: The Myth of Rubberized Landscapes

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 11:55PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

bboy...I would never use rubber mulch in a landscape. I have, however, seen it used to good effect in a playground. MUCH softer than sand and less-splintery than wood mulch.

Though the point about leachate is well-made...

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:22PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Somehow I can't see children being exposed to "a number of metal and organic contaminants with
known environmental and/or human health effects" at playgrounds being good.

Then there is the fire hazard aspect.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 11:33PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

Well...I'm not certain the rubber mulch I saw was made from recycled tires, either. Might very well have been virgin rubber.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 1:03PM
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ONe of the schools where I work had the a fire that traveled under the rubber mulch. The guy that cleaned it up was so black from the soot!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 1:11PM
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If you don't hate yourself in five years, the future owners of the house will.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 10:44PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>Tons of studies and information about the safety of rubber mulch in landscaping and playground useat a page that when opened turns out to be from Pinnacle Rubber Mulch.

Chalker-Scott (at my link, above) also refers to studies instead indicating a definite toxicity problem. Why bother with something that has other drawbacks anyway?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Imho rubber mulch is like spreading garbage into your yard.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 8:30AM
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It just happens to be the only gardening/landscape topic I know anything about. I recently did a lot of research before a second purchase of rubber mulch, and therefore knew where to find a good bit of information about it. I found these forums during a Google search, and when I saw a lot of negative, but un-informed posts about a topic I'm now well-versed in, I posted. Then I did a search on these forums for 'Rubber Mulch' and posted in other discussions where people were talking about the safety of Rubber Mulch. You'll see from all of my posts that I posted safety information, and not sales information. I will admit that Pinnacle Rubber Mulch is where I bought my Rubber Mulch, which is why I knew they had links to all of that safety info, but my motives here are just to share my small amount of knowledge and experience on this one issue.

I actually had no idea how old those threads were until someone else accused me of being a spammer in another thread. I guess I need to learn more about using forums...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 1:57PM
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Against my better judgment in leaving things alone - the age of a post is probably much less shrouded in mystery than would be one's desire to actually use rubber mulch.

You will note in the header of the original post it says...
"Posted by...on Sun, Feb 28, 10 at 17:57". The last post before you resurrected it was dated "Posted by...Thu, Mar 4, 10 at 13:11".

Guess you were buying and spreading the stuff in the nearly 5 month hiatus. This forum is not particularly confrontational, but occasionally old threads have been brought back for the express purpose of spamming.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 12:25PM
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"the Wikipedia page for Rubber Mulch, which is a more neutral source"

Oh god. Somewhere a college professor is crying.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 1:13PM
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What! You're telling me Wikipedia isn't a primary source? LOL

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 1:45PM
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I know, shocking! One of the many reasons this just smells like pink fake meat product from a can.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 2:54PM
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Geez, so now I am a spammer because I referenced wikipedia?!? How about the damn EPA, are they trying to sell Rubber Mulch, too? I am sorry to get upset, but this is insulting. A spammer would post once and leave, not stay here and defend himself. I posted information about SAFETY. Not links to sales pages or anything like that. What I posted was germane to the conversation, and regardless of the site on which the link was posted, included links to NON-PROFIT and GOVERNMENT agencies for testing data, which is a lot more credible than 'My neighbor's yard smells bad'. That is NOT spam.

I screwed up in not checking the date of the threads I posted in, I am SO sorry for making such an egregious error. Please forgive me.

This is, hands down, the least welcoming and most closed-minded hobby forum I've ever posted on.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 10:36PM
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Also, its not like I am referencing some obscure small company. Do a Google search for 'Rubber Mulch Safety'. The site I referenced is FIRST. I'm not an expert on Search Engines, but that has to say something positive about its credibility.

I am just trying to contribute here on an issue I know something about. If I recommended a good book, would you accuse me of being the author? If recommended a movie that you didn't like, would you assume I was the director's cousin? This just isn't fair.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 10:50PM
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mbentley, people are just put off by the highly unusual posting style of yours. Try to not take too much offense.
It's odd that a person who doesn't seem to have interest in landscaping in general would register to a garden forum just to promote people to use rubber mulch(with advertisements). You have to understand that the first thing people will think is a spammer. What doesn't help is that rubber mulch is quite the controversial subject, so such vigorous promotion of it is a bit ugh...but differing opinions are of course welcome and if you indeed are not a spammer it is unfortunate you don't feel welcome(but also have understanding for the reactions, spammers are not unusual on the internet).

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 1:19AM
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Thank you temes for having the decency to voice your concerns in a non-insulting way. I truly appreciate it.

I've posted a few times that I found a topic in these forums when I did a Google search of 'Rubber Mulch' after I had made a recent purchase. I decided to post because of the numerous negative, but un-informed posts. Then, the attacks began. I then did a search here and found a few more similar posts, so I posted the same safety information there as well. Is that so unreasonable? I realize now that I resurrected some ancient posts, but that just an honest mistake.

I also want to point out again that not once have I posted a single ad. All of the links I posted were links directly to pages about Rubber Mulch safety information. I like the product, that is no secret, but I have never tried to advertise it.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 10:45PM
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