Front Porch Blog

Pining for pine straw

Mulch market widens, but margins needle-thin
[ Georgia ] Pine straw, used for mulch to control weeds and help retain soil moisture, is a multimillion- dollar business that ‘ s growing, according to David Dickens, associate professor of forest productivity at the University of Georgia ‘ s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He estimates that Georgia landowners collectively got $35 million to $40 million last year. That ‘ s up from $25 million in 2002 and $15.5 million in 1999. Though sales in Georgia have plateaued, according to Ramsey, they still are growing in other Southeastern states, such as North Carolina , Mississippi and Louisiana . Many landscapers prefer needles produced by the longleaf pine, followed by slash pine. Loblolly pine produces an inferior product. Most pine straw sold in Georgia comes from slash pine, Ramsey says. But that is likely to change in coming years, as foresters encourage landowners to plant more longleaf trees.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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