​Screen Fiber or Not?

One of the most common questions asked by professionals in the colored mulch industry is, "Should I screen my fiber prior to coloring?"


Things to consider:

Added costs vs. cost savings

  • There are added costs of equipment and labor to screen the product through an additional process.
  • Screening creates a by-product of fines — and there is an opportunity to save 2 to 3 percent in mulch colorant cost by reducing fines.
  • Many producers see a reduction in weight of the finished product with the fines removed — which can reduce freight costs.

Aesthetics

  • A reasonable amount of fines will give the colored mulch an appearance of lying better in the landscape setting.
  • Colored mulch with all the fines removed can have a chunky appearance that is often not as desirable. 

Bottom line? Maximize grinding

  • Start with maximizing the grinder's performance to produce a product that does not need screening.
  • A grinder manufacturer can recommend the proper internal screen sizes and configuration that will perform best in the grinder to produce the desired results.