Last Modified: April 3, 2024

Bulk Bags of Bark

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Bark in a bulk bag

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist


Bark chippings are great for use on your beds and borders as a low maintenance ground cover, because they are great at improving drainage, increasing water retention and suppressing weeds. When a project requires bulk mulch for sufficient coverage, one of the most convenient ways to get large amounts delivered, at the best price, is by purchasing bulk bags of bark mulch.

In this article we cover many aspects about using bark for large mulching projects, including the types and their benefits, as well as how to buy in bulk.

Finally, be sure to take advantage of our new 'Pebble Picker' utility, accessible from the sidebar or menu. This resource simplifies the process of selecting and perusing different decorative aggregates according to colour and type.

Bark mulch on a landscaped garden

Key Takeaways

  • Benefits: Bark mulch performs many jobs that reduce garden maintenance.
  • Versatility: Ornamental bark chippings come in a range of styles and types, offering both beauty and functionality.
  • Aesthetics: Decorative barks look great while providing a low-maintenance solution, long term.
  • Savings: Buying in bulk bags is more economical, especially for larger projects.
Wheelbarrow and garden tools in front of a tonne bag

Benefits Of Bark Chippings

In general, bark chippings are a superior mulch. From suppressing weeds, to improving soil quality and helping the soil to retain moisture, it is a low maintenance wander around the garden. It's also an excellent alternative when you need to cover large areas affordably.

Here are the main benefits of using bark for mulching:

  1. 1
    Weed Suppression: Acts as an effective barrier to suppress weed growth, minimising the need for constant weeding.
  2. 2
    Moisture Retention: Chipped bark locks in condensation, helping plants to retain moisture in the summer months, reducing the frequency of watering and ensuring a more consistent moisture level for plants.
  3. 3
    Temperature Regulation: Provides insulation to protect plant roots from direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions, such as the heat in summer and cold in winter.
  4. 4
    Soil Erosion Control: It helps prevent erosion by stabilising the topsoil and reducing the impact of rainfall or wind.
  5. 5
    Nutrient Enrichment: As it slowly decomposes, it adds nutrients to the topsoil, improving its fertility and structure.
Pile of bark chips on a driveway

Types Of Bark Chippings

There are three distinct types of bark chippings used in outdoor spaces as garden mulch, ground cover or ornamental features. Bark mulch or landscaping bark, which is the most affordable and practical product. Then there are ornamental barks, which also include coloured bark chippings, as well as play grade bark, or play bark, which is designed to be used as a play surface. Each type has their place, and use case, which we cover in the next sections.

Bark Mulch Or Landscaping Bark

Also known as garden bark chippings, landscape bark is the most versatile garden mulch. Most commonly made from pine, it is dark in colour and usually contains pine needles, giving it a rustic appearance that offers great contrast to the natural greenery and flowers.

Suited to everything from leveling out uneven grounds and covering large areas, to providing a thick layer that inhibits weed growth, the benefits make it a very economical and popular decorative aggregate.

Laying mulch in a garden border

Conifer Bark Chippings

For those wanting to create a rustic garden appeal, mixed conifer bark chippings are a good compost solution. Mixed conifer offers a distinct texture and colour, setting it apart from other types of bark chippings. It generally lasts for up to 2 years, gradually increasing soil organic matter levels as it slowly degrades.

Pine needles and wood compost

Decorative Bark, Ornamental Bark & Bark Nuggets

As a type of product that goes under many names, including bark nuggets, decorative bark mulch offers a distinct aesthetic appeal with its chunkier composition, characterised by larger, rounded pieces that give it a uniquely textured appearance. It also typically contains less white wood, making it more expensive than regular garden bark chippings.

However, this type of mulch tends to have a much slower decomposition rate compared to conventional landscaping bark mulch, meaning that it will last a lot longer, which makes it more economical.

Decorative pine bark nuggest

Ornamental Bark

Ornamental bark chippings, including coloured bark, adds a eye-catching and vibrant dimension to landscaping. They come in a spectrum of hues, ranging from rich reds and deep browns to striking blues, offering a stunning contrast to greenery and flowers.

Of course, all decorative bark chippings serve more than just the aesthetic purposes, which is what makes them such popular types of decorative aggregates.

Red woodchip mulch

Play Grade Bark Chippings

Play grade bark chippings are a specially designed and safety-conscious choice for playgrounds and recreational areas. Play bark is screened to meet stringent BS EN 1176 safety standards, offering critical fall height safety that reduces the risk of injuries on your play surface.

Natural wood chippings playground

Need to work out how much playbark your play area or mulching  project needs? Use our free bark calculator.

Ornamental Bark Decorative Features

Ornamental bark chippings can be used in many different ways to completely revamp outdoor features from garden paths to flower beds and planted borders. With their unique appearance, including a dazzling range of colours, they can instantly transform the aesthetic of your garden. Think of them as the ultimate tidy finish - like the garnish on your garden dish!

Another great idea is to pair them with strategic lighting and plants. Decorative bark chippings can be a creative way to turn an ordinary garden space into a feature, especially during the evening, because the reflective qualities of some barks can amplify ambient lighting wonderfully. We go into great detail about how to use bark chippings, here.

Ornamental grass with chipped bark mulch

Bulk Bag: The Economical Choice

Choosing a bulk bag for your landscaping project is both economical and practical. When you purchase in a bulk bag, bark mulch is generally a lot cheaper than if you were to buy in 25L or 100L bags. Using an online bark calculator is also the most efficient way of estimating the amount you will need and avoid cost overruns, especially for larger projects.

Measuring the height of a bulk bag

Bulk Discounts

For large projects, it's always worth trying to bargain with a supplier. Some suppliers will offer you bulk bag discounts, which can make it even more cost-effective. Also, keeping an eye out for a mulch sale, and then buying in bulk for the seasons ahead, can be a great way to lock in big savings.

1natural brown chippings on top of weed membrane


Bark mulch is a universally popular type of ground cover with a raft of benefits. When your garden features demand more than a couple of small bags of mulch, one of the most convenient ways to get the best price is by purchasing them bulk bags.

1chopped wood logs in a pine forest

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a bulk bag of bark?

The price varies based on the type, quality, and where you purchase from. For example, ornamental bark chippings are generally more expensive than landscape mulch. That's why it's best to check with local suppliers or online for current pricing.

Can you buy bark in bulk?

Yes, buying bark in bulk is a common practice, especially for larger landscaping projects. It's both economical and conveniently delivered.

How much does 1 tonne of bark cover?

One tonne of bark typically covers an area of around 15-20㎡ at a depth of 5cm.

How much will 100L of bark cover?

A 100L bag of bark material will roughly cover 2㎡ at a 5cm depth.

How much does a bulk bag of mulch cover?

A bulk bag of mulch usually contains about 0.7 cubic meters or 700 litres, covering approximately 14㎡ at a depth of 5cm.

What is the cheapest mulch for gardens?

Bark mulch or landscaping bark are often the most suitable and affordable mulch compost and options.

Searching for tonne bag of bark near me?

If you are searching for bulk bags of bark near me or bulk bark mulch near me, you will generally find suppliers who are close to you if you have allowed your location to be used by your browser.

There are many other varieties of wood chippings available for your project. Check out them out!

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.