Pine needle mulch is the number one mulching material used in landscape plantings in the Southeastern U.S. Because pine needles are actually a leaf (needle), it benefits the environment in the same way that decomposing leaves benefit the forest floor, by recycling nutrients and maintaining soil organic matter in a compost-like fashion. NO Trees are destroyed in the process of harvesting pine needles. The carbon footprint for harvesting pine needles vs. other mulches is very low. The majority of pine needles harvested are done so by hand, using a rake. The pine needles are raked into piles, and then placed into a wooden box for baling.