Answer: You can use any organic matter as a mulch. Compost, straw, shredded leaves, bark chips, even grass clippings that have been dried. If your goal is to keep the areas weed free, especially since you know poison ivy is in the area, you might consider first placing weed barrier in around the trees and shrubs and topping it off with mulch. Use a spun polyester or perforated plastic landscape fabric over the top of the soil and then place your mulch over it. You'll be sure to keep weeds at bay.
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