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San Francisco Landscaping Mulch from people just like you.

"She is very organized and a hard worker. She is also responsive to emails and phone calls. Our yard looks great.

-Donna B.

"iI agreed to use pressure-treated lumber for garden boxes, but neglected to ascertain whether it was safe for edible garden items (potatoes). He arrived an hour" plus late, but his crew worked efficiently, and were responsive to my requests. The paving stones across the yard were spaced irregularly, and not as I would have done (a couple tend to get buried by sand from garden),

-Frank V.

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Local Articles in San Francisco

man shoveling mulch

Mulch & Wood Chips

Mulch can be a lot of different things, but at its core it exists as a material that is applied to landscaping, walking paths and flower beds for aesthetic purposes, to suppress weed growth, retain moisture and supply nutrients to soil through decay.

flowers in mulched garden bed. (Photo by Photo by Roger Tunis)

Discourage weeds in your garden landscape and get the most from your mulch with these tips from a landscaping pro.

one-story home on a hill with green lawn

Here's how to jump start your spring lawn and landscape projects.

Landscapers mulch to moderate soil temperature, conserve moisture, suppress weeds and to add organic matter to the soil as the shredded bark breaks down.

Looking to add some mulch to your landscaping?

Inspiration & Ideas

landscape with hemlock mulch
landscape with new trees, shrubs, flowers
fiber cement siding

Angie's Answers

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


One of the more difficult issues facing you will be making sure you compare apples 'n apples while understanding the differences between apples 'n oranges.

Some things common to all:

How far from your (water) meter pit to the home?

Do you know what sort of water pressure you have?

Those two questions sortta drive the rest.  How many sprinklers you have is a piece of the puzzle but it is lower on the issues list than how much water pressure and gallons per minute of flow (gpm) you have.  Knowing the water pressure and gpm coming to the house is important because it is the info divided by the flow rate of the heads to tell you how many you can run at a time.

 That, plus the number of heads it takes to cover your yard will let them decide on how many zones to cut the yard into (each zone is X number of heads that run at the same time).

Will the different estimates be for systems that are all parts from a single manufaturer or will it be a collection of brands?  Some will tell you that the parts (controller, back-flow, heads and even specific heads) are better from different manufacturers while others will tell you that all from a single manufacturer will give you an optimized system.

And, are the contractors equally certified?  Not only education and experience but certifications from the various manufacturers who's parts they want to use.  And, will their installations be the same?  Will they open trenches all around your yard and be a week getting the stuff layed, connected and back-filled?  Or, will they pull the flexible pipe and be in 'n out in one day with water flowing to cover their intrussion before they leave that day?

Will your system need to be blown out with pressurized air at the end of the season to avoid winter freeze and bursts or will it drain automagically?

I know, I took your simple question and made it hard.

When I bought my system about 9 years ago, I had a variety of estimates and the differences sortta fell into the mess I listed above.  The low estimate was a person who seemed to be from the "get it in the ground and fix it later" school.

The highest estimate was from someone who seemed more concerned about my yard and the final result than I was.  The low person was using parts 'n pieces from a variety of manufacturers.  The high person was certified by the company that made all the parts he was wanting to use and he carried a fairly high rating from them for his past performance..  He would vary for me if I wanted but he had sound reasons from the controller to each of the heads as to why he preferred his "brand".

It doesn't look like you are a member of Angie's List.  Given the size of the investment you are looking at, this might be a great time to join and see how others in your community have rated the contractors you are considering or if there is one you should add to your list. 

My yard is between 12 and 15,000 square feet less the house, deck, two mini-barns and it is interrupted with a number of blocking (blocks the stream of water) evergreens and planting beds.

The low estimate I had was about $2,500 and would take three days to put in from the time they began to trench.  I don't recall how many heads he wanted to put in but if it was off, he'd be able to put another anyplace and tie it to the nearest zone to give me good coverage.  Uh, this was the get it in the ground 'n adjust later person.

The high estimate I had was around $4,500.  This proposal was for seven active zones each having 5 to 7 heads.  There was enough capacity (extra zone controllers and space within the system controller) built in to add drip irrigation at a later date for the planting beds without having to replace anything.  He drew the entire yard and gave me a copy with the heads marked showing the "throw" of each and the overlap he built in to avoid any missed areas.  And, they wanted to arrive in the morning and leave that evening with the system watering to cover their tracks throughout the yard.  One day and they would not leave until it was working as advertised!

I took the high estimate.  I have a neighbor who bought from the other folks.  Both of us are happy.  He is really happy because each time he calls his company for adjustments or corrections (yep, they got it in the ground and are still putzing with it) they are out within the week, they are really easy to do business with and their service calls' costs haven't gone up a whole bunch.

Sorry, you can't look at the price and divide by X number of heads and have a fair comparison.


1) IF you are talking the root crown - the portion where it is not one solid truck or "bole", but still a solid or near-solid mass of roots coming off the base of the trunk, then that has to come out on way or another. Typically, once you get beyond about a 3 foot circle then you are in the radial portion of the roots where they spread out laterally, and are a foot or more apart, and new roots can grow in that area fro the new tree OK. Of course, be prepared to have to trim some volunteers so the old tree can't come back, and be sure to fertilize the new tree per recommendations because the old roots will still be trying to extract water and food from the soil to support the tree that they do not yet realize is gone. Do NOT put stump killer or poison in the old tree - will kill new one too.

2) The proper commercial way to do this is to have the entire root crown and larger roots removed with a stump grinder - looks like this -


You need a tree service that can grind down at least two feet below ground level and remove the root crown and larger root segments. If you hve large roots running laterally quite a ways, he can grind them up too - ditto to "trippers" sticking up above ground. Just be sure to have it clear (spray painted) upfront how far he is going for what he quoted - typically about $150 for tree up to 1-2 feet in diameter, up to $500 for a massive sycamore or walnut or cottonwood or redwood with 6 foot diameter crown. While you can rent stump grinders at tooll rental places, I REALLY do not recommend it - the rental ones you can afford to rent for one use are pretty light duty, and they can chew a person up in no time flat if you lose control when it snags in the wood or hits a rock.

3) Another way is to go out to where the massive roots taper off to something you can reasonable cut - say 4-6 inches in diameter, and cut them all in a circle around the stump, then with a come-along or CAREFULLY (not more than a few hundred pounds) with a vehicle with a trailer hitch, put a steady pull on a good rope or strap or chain in a shallow notch cut around the top of the stump (so it does not pop off easy), then while it is being rotated up out of the ground walk around and cut any root you see still attached or trying to lift out of the ground. This works much better if the stump is left about 4-6 feet high so you get some real leverage on it with the pull, but if already cut down short run chain or strap over the top of it and around a large root on the far side of the stump. I use a Sawzall with foot long coarse tooth wood cutting blade for this - goes through roots really fast, and blade is only $1 or so apiece so ruining one or two hitting rocks is no big thing, and also reaches in under the stump better and safer than an axe. I helped a neighbor take out a back yard full of birches this way - took us about half a day to remove about 15 trees with about 6 foot diameter circle of crown and roots, leaving holes about 1-2 feet deep where each tree was. Remember this - whichever way you use to take it out, you will need maybe 1-5 wheelbarrow loads of good growth medium to replace the divot. 

4) Cheaper route - cut off flush with ground level (or leave some stickup as a planter or stool or feeder base or whatever), and plant new tree at least 4 feet away from old crown, in a spot between the old roots.

'Reasonable' is one of those words that means wildly divergent things to different people.  Check with your local high school to see if they have  any sort of agricultural program.  If yes, perhaps someone in that program could help you.  Being a landscaper myself, I must say it sounds like you want something that is - first and foremost - cheap.   This is NOT the best way to look for any service.  You would be better served looking for 'competant' than with 'cheap'.  The nicer you want your flowerbed to look, the more important it is to find someone who REALLY knows what they are doing.

Mulch Delivering reviews in San Francisco


I am enormously pleased with 's work. I've reached the age where I'm not able to work in the garden very well, so it's wonderful to have taking care of it.
- Markley M.

They did not deliver on several of their promises: before I hired them, they said they would apply landscaping fabric in all areas where they replaced the sod. They didn't. They only occasionally put it down. They said they would pull the landscape fabric under the rocks to prevent weeds from coming through. They didn't do this. They said ...More all of the mulch they put down would be at least 3'' deep. It wasn't. They used smaller boulders than they had put in the original design. They installed ''flagstone walkways''. The flagstone they used, however, was placed so far apart that it's more like a '' -way'' because you'd have to to get from one stone to the next. What is worse, many of the stones are small and mismatched in size: for example, one is about 2'' x 7'', and another is about 12'' x 12''. I got so tired of calling them to complain about all of the problems that I finally gave up.
- PAM L.

They did not deliver on several of their promises: before I hired them, they said they would apply landscaping fabric in all areas where they replaced the sod. They didn't. They only occasionally put it down. They said they would pull the landscape fabric under the rocks to prevent weeds from coming through. They didn't do this. They said ...More all of the mulch they put down would be at least 3'' deep. It wasn't. They used smaller boulders than they had put in the original design. They installed ''flagstone walkways''. The flagstone they used, however, was placed so far apart that it's more like a '' -way'' because you'd have to to get from one stone to the next. What is worse, many of the stones are small and mismatched in size: for example, one is about 2'' x 7'', and another is about 12'' x 12''. I got so tired of calling them to complain about all of the problems that I finally gave up.
- PAM L.

really helped us to get our decaying yard looking presentable for a summer party. He was punctual, professional, and efficient. His crew removed every weed in sight in one morning visit-even in the and side garage. He picked a nice tree to accent the front and hardy colorful plants for some color. I think ...More he works best with someone who has more of an idea of what they want design wise. His prices were more reasonable than the crew we hired last summer to do the same work. I look forward to working with him again.

Landscaping Mulch in San Francisco

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

7 Days Box

2647 Senter Rd
San Jose

About Green Land Care

5100 Montreal Dr.
San Jose

Alex Brown Tree Care

San Francisco


PO BOX 61417

Arbortech Inc

1413 Industrial Pkwy W

Bartlett Tree Experts - 101114

2262 Palou Ave
San Francisco

Bay Area Tree Care

4055 San Simeon Wy
San Jose


841 F St
Union City

Caffrey Landscapes

108 Belle Ave
San Rafael


San Jose

Christopher Carlson Construction

730 w verano ave

CK Water Systems & Landscape Development

356 Spruce St
San Francisco



Custom Landscape

800 Longbrook Way Apt 175
Pleasant Hill

Didier Termignon Fine Tree Care

39 Massassoit St
San Francisco

Dr Benson's Natural mix

4012 S Rainbow Blvd


Redwood City

Eco-Systems Landscape Solutions, LLC

410 Maple Street
Redwood City

Elemental Landscape and Design

2837 Gazelle Dr

Everything Handyman

1701 North California Boulevard
Walnut Creek

Filice Enterprises, Inc.

1608 W. Campbell Ave. #344

FMG The Landscape Professionals

2225 Saint George Dr

GenEnt Home and Garden

PO Box 5039
Redwood City

Global Sun Landscape

114 Greenwood Dr
South San Francisco

Green Waste Recycle Yard

2550 Garden Tract Rd

Groundbreaking Landscapes

461 Molino Ave
Mill Valley

H Builders, LLC

716 Stannage Avenue

Home Depot

1700 W Hillsdale Blvd.
San Mateo

House Cleaning & Landscape Maintenance

359 Silver Ave
San Francisco

J&G Yard and Land Services

5551 Crow Canyon Rd
Castro Valley

Jenna Bayer Garden Design

1954 Old Middlefield Way
Mountain View




8494 Lone Tree Way

LP Construction Company

360 E Evelyn Ave #440

Manscaping Landscaping

1379 44th Ave
San Francisco

Mariposa Gardening & Design

1724 Rose St


48 Chester St
Daly City

Natural Garden

403 Monterey Rd

Nature's Design

4139 Rettig Ave.

Neftali Alfaro Gardening Service

1514 Alemany Blvd
San Francisco

North Arrow Landscape Design

334 Encina Avenue
Redwood City

Palermo Tile & Construction

1821 Eight st

PJ Tree Service Inc

1957 Parkside Dr


1625 Beck Dr
San Jose


168 sickles avenue

Ron's Hauling

PO BOX 959

Rosa's Maintenance, Inc.

P O Box 53851
San Jose


PO BOX 182

Serenity Property Maintenance

12970 Highway 9
Boulder Creek

Shambhala Landscapes

643 Mangels Ave
San Francisco

Sofie's Handywork

1188 Mission Street
San Francisco

SolyLuna Landscapes

143 Mariposa Ave
Daly City

Spryscapes Construction, Inc.

1255 Vicente St
San Francisco



Sunrise Grading & Paving

588 Lott Drive

The Davey Tree Expert Co - Menlo Park

119 Independence Dr
Menlo Park

The Davey Tree Expert Co - San Francisco

131 Industrial Way

The Professional Tree Care Co

PO Box 2377


PO BOX 210262
San Francisco



Vasona Construction

4120 Business Center Dr

Walnut Creek Landscaping

3607 Village Rd

YourTurf, Inc.

31103 Rancho Viejo Rd
San Juan Capistrano


po box 727

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