VERY inconsistent pine barks experience

greentoe357June 3, 2013

The usual pine bark fines hunting adventures here that I feel I need to share - to provide shortcuts for others but also to get some advice.

The pictures of my experience are here:

I found two different bark fines products at different stores here in Brooklyn. Crest hardware store in Williamsburg has "Golden Trophy pine bark mulch" which is uncomposted, particles are a bit too large (that is a dime in the pictures) and a fair amount of wood chippings are included, which I separated manually.

Lowes on 2nd avenue had "Premium mulch pine bark fines". The bag was very wet, so I am actually drying the contents on a table cloth on the floor of my NYC apartment - that makes for hilarious facebook status updates - highly recommend this to everybody, haha.

The particles are way too fine and fully or almost fully composted (see picture).

I understand I need something in the middle of these two products, and none of them will work alone. (Or will it?) I am going to try to find a place that can chop the Golden Trophy bark for me further and then I am just going to mix the two barks together, 2.5 and 2.5 parts, to make the 5 parts pine fines for the mix. Does this plan sound alright? I am going to see how the actual mix looks - may need to add less sphagnum peat moss or the smaller pine bark particles if the mix seems water-retentive enough.

Where should I be looking to get the bark chopped finer? I have some leads to tree removal services here, but welcome other ideas very much as well.

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Sounds like you have a good handle on the principles of particle size vs. water retention. I got the Lowes brand as well and was disappointed. I would probably do the same as you to save some money. My best find for PBF was at a Agway on Long Island that a friend picked up for me. If you have a car, it might be worth a trip out there. I put the link below. I also saw some PBF that looked good at the Gowanus Nursery. Not sure if you are close to them.
No idea about chipper's for hire.

Good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Dan, thanks for the reply. Did you get the same thing at Lowes and were disappointed for the same reasons or others?

I looked at Agway, but with no car it's a pain for me to get there. Gowanus Nursery is much more conveniently located - same subway line as my house! I'll definitely note it for my next PBF shopping adventure when I run out.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 9:48PM
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