Return to the Florida Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Posted by manature 9B Sanford, FL (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 15, 06 at 13:12

I was just outside weeding and mulching my roses with some eucalyptus mulch I just got (for the first time), when I thought of a question. I have heard that this mulch deters insects. Does anyone know this for a fact, and if so, does it chase away earthworms, too? Because that would not be a good thing. Just curious as to what you guys may have read about this or what you have experienced in your own gardens. Thanks!

Marcia


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

I recall digging soil in Australia under eucalyptus leaves and debris and there were earthworms.

Also, the eucalyptus oils are what deters some insects--mainly any wood eating or nesting/scurrying types. Once the oils break down, that effect is pretty much gone.


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Hi, Longwood! Thanks for the input...I'm hoping that is the case, as I don't want to do anything to chase away my earthworms. If it sends roaches, etc, running, why that's just FINE with me! ;o)

Marcia


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Marcia-I use Eucalyptus mulch and chips all the time. I find it really deters insects and does keep the soil quite moist underneath encouraging bunches of earthworms. I do layer my mulch and chips pretty heavily too. I also love the smell of fresh Euc mulch after it's been soaked by rain.


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Thanks, Cindee! I'm sold! I already love the smell of it, and it looks pretty good, too. Plus it makes me feel good about not using the cypress. I appreciate the input!!
Marcia


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Interestingly, I've been finding comments from articles that eucalyptus mulch is not necessarily coming from the removeal of exotic invasice stand of eucalyptus in FL, but from actualy plantations of eucalyptus.

These plantations use copious amounts of water and fertilizers to get fast growth on these "production" mulch trees. So, it seems that they are not the "solve all" mulches that are better than any other? Not too happy from hwhat i'm finding. It's one thing if its legitimately from removed trees that are invasive, it's another if they are being farmed and using outrageous natural resources.


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Oh, GREAT! I'm not happy to hear that may be the case, either, though I do still think it is better than cutting down our cypress. BUT...I don't like trading one environmental problem for another. *sigh* Will have to look into this a bit farther, I reckon!

Marcia


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

There's always malalueca mulch.

Barb


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Barb, melalueca IS eucalyptus, though who knows if it is the variety that is in the bagged eucalyptus mulch or not. That's kind of what we are led to believe, and what I had hoped we were using. But what Longwood is saying is that there are claims that the eucalyptus mulch we are buying is not made from the invasive eucalyptus (melaleuca) trees from south Florida, and instead from some sort of FARMED eucalyptus. Now I'm really curious as to what IS in these bags. More research is warranted, for sure.

Marcia


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

I'll be darned. I just put some bags down today so I went out and look at the packaging and it says "100% nematode free malaleuca". So much for truth in advertising. I bought it at a local place here in South Florida. It's called Florimulch.
Barb


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

wait, Melaleuca isn't Eucalyptus. Two different genera although in the same family. Or, are you saying they are putting melaleuca in bags marked Eucalyptus? Melaleuca wood isn't nearly as fragrant as an eucalypt.

I'm even now wondering really about cypress mulch. Yeah, don't use it, but you hear so often that "they" are cutting down virgin cypress stands still. But who and where? in the mid and upper south? I can't imagine here still in FL--especially with the UF teachings, master gardeners and others commenting publicly on radio, paper, talks, about don't use cypress. Are other states like GA, AL and MS as adamant about the anti-cypress mulch usage?

yes, another Hhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm!?


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Longwood, the punk trees growing all over south Florida (melaleuca) have always been called a variety of eucalyptus by everyone I know, so I have always assumed they WERE a type of eucaplyptus. If that isn't accurate, then I apologize. But I think when we are talking about eucalyptus mulch, most of us have been thinking it was the horrible melaleuca trees that were being used. So when I read that they might not be, I was a bit nonplussed. If they are another type of eucalyptus that is being farmed for mulch purposes, that sort of defeats MY purpose in using it. I was hoping to a) save a cypress and b) kill a melaleuca by purchasing this type of mulch. Now I don't know WHAT to think. Arrrrggggghhhhh......

Now if you find mulch that says 100" melaleuca, well surely THAT is a good thing??? Surely they aren't farming THOSE somewhere, are they??? I'm soooo confused!

Marcia


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

I just spred 6 bags of Grade A Eucalyptus mulch. There was no smell at all! This surprised me. Hmmm...
Brenda


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Ok, I think I found something that helps. Univ. of FL publication (link below) answers some of the dilemma.

This got me to thinking even more. Are pine trees being dessimated as badly as cypress? Or, are pines being grown in plantations specifically for mulch (barka nd chip) purposes? I can't imagine the timber industry cuts down trees destined for lumber and tak the time to plane them in such a way to save bark exclusively to use as mulch?

I wonder if you can write the company listed on the mulch bags to get an understanding of how all this goes down.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mulches in FL


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Thank you, Longwood, for a very informative link. Although the article doesn't give any environmental insights into making a choice, the very fact that the melaleuca mulch would encourage the harvesting of those noxious trees ought to mean it is a good choice. And I can see that they are NOT considering that to be one of the eucalyptus mulches, so I have been under a mistaken impression, apparently, regarding that. I will research where I can find melaleuca mulch locally, and see if it is feasible for me to switch to that.

Oh, according to that section on pine bark, it IS a byproduct of the lumber industry, so I would think it would be a good way to make use of ALL of the pine trees. Though I, myself, don't care for the look of the pinebark, lots of people really do like it, and it would seem it is probably environmentally friendly.

I know that Jim Thomas of Biosphere Nursery sells pine straw (needles) by the bale now, and feels it is the best mulch around. I'm not crazy about the look of that, either, but I will try to keep an open mind. If I'm going to start mulching more, I need to consider all aspects of which ones I choose to put down.

Interesting discussion, folks. Thanks for all your input!

Marcia


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

I use the Florimulch brand of melaleuca mulch. It is 100% composed of the invasive punk or melaleuca tree so there is no question of pine or cypress trees being either logged or harvested from a plantation. I have had no problems with Florimulch -- it has performed just as a mulch should and I recommend it to this Forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Florimulch distributor locator


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Hi
has anyone tried the mulch made from shredded tires??
Kind of expensive but should last a long time.
Was curious as to how they color it?? Every tire I've ever seen is black lol
gary


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Thanks for the link, Isozooid. I think that is what I will try to find, too. Anything to help get rid of those horrible trees that have taken over south Florida.

Gary, I have looked at the tire mulch, but frankly, I can not STAND the smell of it. UGH. And I don't find it very attractive. Plus, even though I don't like replacing mulch, at the same time, mulch that never breaks down doesn't add any nutrients to the soil.

While some people might prefer those shredded tires, for myself, I'm gonna opt for something natural and eventually biodegradable, I think. It just FEELS better to me.

Marcia


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Well, if pine is being timbered, I'm hoping its safe to say that loggers are required in FL to be sustainable and replant seedlings? Hope so.

I have seen more and more articles stating that there are heavy metals that leach out of the shredded tires, I think it is lead and/or arsenic. And, yeah, something that doesn't degrade at all I wouldn't want in the garden. Kinda like using old motor oil as a weed killer around things.


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

My Dad grows pine trees up in Georgia, and I know that when he has the needles harvested to be sold for landscape use he must apply a chemical feritilizers to make up for the nutrients the breaking down needles would have provided for the trees. It's true that they don't need much fertilizer--not nearly as much as most crops use. I have read that the harvesting of pine straw also hurts native wildflower populations, but I find this hard to believe. Most pines are farmed pretty intensively. They're planted very close, and almost nothing can grow beneath them, the shade is so heavy. It's easy to harvest the straw because there's nothing beneath them but pure pine straw. I would think that either pine straw or pine bark would be a fairly environmentally friendly choice--but I agree with Marcia: I'm not wild about the "pine nugget" look. I wish I could find a place that sells it finely shredded. I think that's prettier.

I'm experimenting with "living mulches." My goal is to one day to not have to bother with buying and spreading mulch at all, just let nature do it for me. But it's a long way down the road.

Bill


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Isozooid thanks for posting the website for Florimulch. That was what I used. It doesn't have any odor at all.

Barb


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Bill, are u in southeastern FL? The chain called The Bushel Stop has Pine Bark Fines, and although not a "shredded look", it is a nice chocolately brown dime-sized mulch. I think the parent company of the Bushel Stop, Atlas Soil and Peat pulverizes a certain amount of their stockloads of regular pine bark when they come down from the north.

I think a picture I posted of a hibiscus in the "E is for" thread. In the background you see color and texture of pine bark fines.


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

Longwood, I'm up in Volusia County, North of Orlando, but I am going to start searching one of these days for a local source. I'll check out that picture. Thanks
Bill


 o
RE: Eucalyptus Mulch Question

I was searching for Eucalyptus info and came across this thread. I want to ease some worries on pine mulch. Pine is grown and sold on a large scale in my area. Pine trees here and in Mississippi grow very quickly. It really is a common practice here and the trees grow back easily. No chemicals needed, but alot of hauling by 18-wheelers. The once fields around my house no longer get mowed and I know nobody went out there and planted the now woods around here 3 years ago. Pine mulch from Louisiana and Mississippi is supporting our economies well. My Grandparents sell pine off thier land every once in a while as do many other folks with enough land.

Now don't let us catch someone touch a Cypress here. Things would get serious real quick.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Florida Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here