While there are ardent advocates on both sides, the short answer to the mulching question “wood or rubber?” is, “it depends.” Here are three things to consider when choosing the best option for your needs.

1. Useful Application
Rubber mulches are durable and have excellent shock absorption, making them ideal for backyard play areas. However, the rubber will also leak zinc over time, which can compromise the health of topsoil in garden or landscaping applications.

2. Pest Control
The organic content in mulch can be better for gardens, but can also attract unwanted pests like termites and fungus.

3. Cost Comparison
Good quality rubber mulch costs about twice as much as wood, but it should last for many years without needing replacement. Wood-based products usually have to be reapplied at least every two years.