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Why Pine Needles?
“Mother Earth uses Pine Needles…so can you!”
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. See how it’s done.
Longleaf Pines, Trees of the Future?
Please see the below link to an article from the Charleston Post and Courier.
Besides the environmental benefits, pine needle mulch also:
- Insulates tender roots from temperature extremes, in turn, keeping the soil warm during cold spells and, conversely, cool during hot spells.
- Helps control weeds
- Conserves soil moisture by reducing water evaporation rates and moisture loss.
- Encourages water infiltration into the soil and reduces runoff.
- Eliminates erosion caused by wind and rain-splash impact.
- Protects against soil compaction by reducing the rain impact directly on the surface.
- Aids in promoting favorable soil balance for healthy root growth.
- Improves soil structure
- Provides erosion control
- Does not have to be removed. All you need do is put fresh straw on the top of old straw to revitalize the color and provide beds with new nutrients.
- Act as RENEWABLE RESOURCE
- Appearance: Good to Excellent
- Insulation: Good
- Cost: Low (greater coverage per dollar than alternative mulches)
- Thickness: 2″ – 3″
- Weed Control: Good
- Water Penetration: Excellent
- Moisture Retention: Good
- Decomposition Speed: Slow
- Durability: Good (outlasts other mulches because of resin content)
- Comments: Often used with acid-soil plants
“Renewable Resource“, “Sustainability“…what are these words we are hearing so much about these days? Renewable resources are things on earth that can grow/reproduce again and again, and never run out (i.e. air, water, pine needles). A Non-Renewable resource is something that takes longer than a person’s lifespan to be replaced (coal, natural gas, some trees, etc). Sustainability is, “Meeting the needs of the present without depleting resources or harming natural cycles for future generations”. It is all of our civic and moral duty to protect our earth and use products that are a Renewable Resource and contribute to the environment’s sustainability.