Is Cypress Mulch A Good Choice

Asked April 10, 2016, 2:29 PM EDT

I see pretty good deals on cypress mulch but I think I read somewhere that cypress is not the best choice. What is best for mulching around perennials? Cedar is better than cypress?

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Cyprus is harvested for mulch in a non-sustainable way jeopardizing Florida's water quality, wildlife habitat, and flood control potential so you are wise to avoid it, despite the low price tag. Read more about this here: http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/environment/cypress.shtml

There are many other mulches that are more local and sustainable in Minnesota. Any of them would be a good choice although they do have their pros and cons. Please read about the different options here: http://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/mulching-trees-and-shrubs

Cedar is a better option than cyprus. Benefits of cedar mulch is that it is quite resistant to decay and will last much longer than pine or hardwood mulches. Since cedar does not decay rapidly, there would be a slower addition of nutrients to the soil as compared to other mulches that would decompose faster.

The most economical, sustainable and local option would be to contact your local compost sites for free wood chips but you often must load and haul it yourself.

Thank you for contacting Extension.