Landscaping with Douglas Fir Bark Mulch

January 12th, 2018

Douglas Fir is one of our most iconic BC trees. However, because of its tall height (it can get up to 300 ft) they are prone to being cut down for safety reasons in residential areas. By using Douglas Fir Bark Mulch, we can recycle resources, use local raw materials, and create low maintenance garden beds. It has been recommended as a premiere garden mulch for environmentally safe weed suppresion in gardens.

Douglas Fir Bark Mluch

6 yards of 1" Douglas Fir Bark Mulch

We implemented this material on a new garden site. Here is a before look at the property: The garden was overgrown and fraught with weeds. Using a small chainsaw and pickace to remove the trees, we cleared the top 2 inches of earth to prepare for the installation.

The front garden is overrun with weeds

Carleton Landscaping shrub and tree removal. The homeowner was sad that we had to remove the existing trees, but our new design included several new landscaping shrubs. These were selected to provide shelter, food and habitat for songbirds and greatly increase habitat.

Carleton Landscaping shrub and tree removal.

Half way done!

Carleton Landscaping shrub and tree removal.

Carleton Landscaping shrub and tree removal.

Finally the ground has been weeded, cultivated and tilled. We managed to complete the initial cleanup just as the sun was beginning to set.

Carleton Landscaping shrub and tree removal.

Once the ground has been prepped, we installed a double layer of cardboard as a lasagna sheet mulch to prevent any roots or seeds from sprouting back up. This layer will prevent weeds and then eventually decompose back into the soil. This is a natural way for weed control without the use of harmful herbicide or other chemical inputs. If you are resourceful, you can often find cardboard for free to save on costs, as we did!

Carleton Landscaping topsoil installation.

In addition to the bark mulch, we also used Topsoil for the berms. Bark mulch is great for weed suppression, but isn't a good planting medium because the nutrients are locked away in the bark, which is slow to break down. We selectively put topsoil where the plant groupings were going. The rest of the area is covered with the bark mulch, ensuring a double protection to suppress any weeds that manage to break through the cardboard barrier.

Hazel putting down the topsoil

Hazel putting down the topsoil for the planting area

The homeowner wanted something that has curb appeal, unique,and would lso be maintenance free. Full design control was given to us, so we propsed a bermed native plant design with focal shrubs on each of the 5 berm areas.

Carleton Landscaping Bark Mulch Installation

The existing Boxwoods, Windmill Palm Tree and Japanese Maples were kept.

Planting, plant installation

Planting, plant installation

Carleton Landscaping Bark Mulch Installation

Kevin mapping out the path

Carleton Landscaping Douglas Fir Bark Mulch Installation

The raised berms feature Japanese Maples, a Windmill Palm, Red flowering Currant, Mock Orange Oceanspray and Serviceberry shrubs as focal points. The native berry producing shrubs were chosen to attract native songbirds.

Carleton Landscaping Douglas Fir Bark Mulch Installation complete

The completed installation features over 183 native plants, grasses, shrubs and trees as well as concrete stepping stones and a birdbath for wildlife.

California Poppies in the garden

California poppies blooming in the garden.

See a short timelapse of 6 yards of Douglas Fir Bark being dumped below!