Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Justin:

I have a pile of mulch that measures 19 feet wide at the bottom and has a height of 6 feet. I need to know how many yards of mulch I have.
Please help and help with the formula for further use. Thank you!

Hi Justin,

I assume that your pile is roughly cone shaped with a circular base with diameter 19 feet and height 6 feet.

mulch pile
Image from the San Diego Free Press

The volume of a cone is one third the volume of the cylinder with the same base and height.

cylinder and cone

Use our volume calculator to calculate the volume of a circular cylinder with base diameter 19 feet and height 6 feet and then take a third of the result to find the volume of the cone.


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