Stroud Water Research Center has conducted research trials since 2013 comparing the use of stone mulch versus herbicides for rodent control around young trees. Our data suggest that stone is a superior mulch material and that tree survival rates are comparable between the two methods.
Stone is long lasting, flood resistant, and generally rodent resistant. While this method costs more up front, it saves on labor and costs over time: stone mulch is applied once and lasts for years, whereas herbicide is applied twice per year for three to four years.
Visit the Watershed Restoration Resources page to download the Stone Mulch Fact Sheet.