Is there really any difference between wood chips and shredded bark? Should I use chips or shredded bark?
Generally speaking, wood chips are made from the actual interior wood of a tree, while bark chips are composed of the outer portion, or bark of various tree species like cedar, pine, or eucalyptus. Shredded types of bark may be all bark, or contain some wood due to the types of raw materials used to produce the particular product.
There are so many different types of mulches available…varying colors, textures, sizes of chunk, etc., that selecting a type of mulch becomes more of a personal preference than anything. All mulches will have beneficial properties that include moisture conservation, weed suppression, and soil temperature moderation.
When selecting a type of mulch to use, more consideration should be given to whether the material is in chip or chunk form versus a shredded type. Chunks may have a tendency to move around more than shredded types which tend to lock in place once they have been watered down. It may be advisable to use shredded mulch types in windy areas or those receiving high amounts of foot traffic.