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Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

Posted by travelergt4 z7 GA (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 28, 06 at 17:54

Howdy, I am unfortunately late in being just now made aware that vast expanses of cypress forests in Louisiana are being cut down to provide me with my favorite mulch (cypress mulch - lasts a long time). Please see http://www.saveourcypress.org/ for details. I feel god is the best gardener, and we shouldn't cut down his fine work of forests just to spread a little mulch in my gardens. Thus, as a gardener with a nagging conscious, I am seeking alternatives. Of course if I can't find another long lasting mulch, I will just use pine bark mulch. However, it seems that Eucalyptus Mulch is indeed a fine alternatively long lasting mulch. It lasts a long period of time, and contrary to popular belief is non-toxic to plants. Yet I have not seen it available in the metro Atlanta area. Does anyone know of a good source? Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

If only we started making mulch out of mimosas and tree of heavens like they do in florida with the malaluecas.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

Not sure about plants, but eucalyptus is toxic to cats. I'd probably worry more about using it as mulch than actually planting it. My cats don't usually eat plants (except grass, of course) but they do walk in the mulch, then clean themselves.

But if you are pet free, it sounds great. I use pine nuggets and pine straw.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

buford, I think that you will find that it is the LEAVES of the eucalyptus that can be toxic to some animals, not the bark or aged wood. The leaves contain the relatively large amounts of phenols, while the bark is probably less
'harmful' than your pine nuggets.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

The odor of Eucalyptus makes me nauseous, so it is not an alternative. I never purchase Cypress or hardwood mulch and very few pine bark nuggets. I have enough pine needles and leaves to mulch half of the neighborhood, if only someone else around here was interested in gardening.
I question the tenuous statement on the saveourcypress site, that some Cypress trees are harvested solely for mulch
production. Considering the price of Cypress lumber, it makes no economic sense to shred the wood for mulch. There may be an occasional tree in the stands that is hollow and unfit for lumber production, that is shredded. Their plea for public pressure at the retail level is destined for failure. They apparently aren't wise enough to know that the only way to stop clear cutting of Cypress stands, is to lobby for state-level legislation to prohibit such practice.
Maybe they should send some representatives to the GA Capitol each year and observe the environmentally concerned organizations pressuring the House and Senate members to protect our own resources. If that doesn't work, there are reasonable Judges that will side with environmentalists.
Rb


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

It's funny, some people love the smell of Eucalyptus, for others (including apparently some pets) it makes them physically sick. I grew up around groves of it in Northern California, so am accustomed to it and it reminds me of home a bit. I agree that legislation is the only sure fire bet for protecting such natural resources. Thanks for the input on the mulch - seems no Eucalyptus readily available here. Pine products are likely more renewable here anyway.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

razor, planting pine trees (especially loblollies) is the best for getting your own mulch. We planted about 30 3 years ago and it is almost at the point where we may not have to buy mulch next year, at least for the back. I do use nuggets on the flat beds, but I have two hilly areas that I use pine straw on.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

I've switched to pine straw. After trying all other kinds of mulch, it works best for me. It's less likely to wash away in heavy rains or get scattered by the dogs. It does a good job of suppressing weeds. I'm pleased with it.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

Up until this year I have used the free wood chip mulch from the local tree companies. Unfortunately, the chips are inconsistent and scatter easily. This year I started using hardwood mulch. It does a great job at weed suppresion and stays in place.

GAmud


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

Many people don't know this but pine straw mulch is not commercially harvested from loblollies but instead long leaf and sometimes slash pines in Florida. It's odd how this product has become a staple of Georgia landscaping but you couldn't find a bale of pine straw in Florida garden centers to save your life.

Some recent articles talking about spreading pine pests via pinestraw and the cost of buying it ($250 last year) and the time consuming process of plumping it nicely has turned me in another direction with mulch. I think the mini nuggets of pine bark look nice but my dogs will eat it.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

Pine straw is a staple in GA because most of us don't have to buy it. We just rake it up.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

You mean those guys who drive around in old pick ups with pine straw are not from Georgia?

At least pine straw doesn't weight a ton when wet and even I can haul a bale over the fence.

I like pine straw for the look and smell. I can't use it in my main beds in front because I'm always in there and I found out that it breaks up and tracks in the house,so there I have have pine nuggets. Luckily cats don't eat it.

My main plan is to plant every square inch of space so I don't need any mulch.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

The guys driving around in pickups offering to install it are most definitely from GA. It's those big 53' trailers that aren't. There are long leaf pine plantations in GA too, I'm sure just not anywhere near the areas where it is purchased the most. And sure, other pine needles will do. I have been known to rake them up from the side of the road in the past. The native pines where I am have much shorter needles. Compare needles that were installed at some landscaping job to loblolly pine needles sometime. It will amaze you.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

You all know that pine straw is a bonafide seed germination inhibitor? Not just physically, but chemically. All the more reason to use it!


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

Much, if not all, of the cypress mulch is the by-product of milling cypress lumber. It's the bark and limbs that are too small for boards. A tree is "peeled" until it is a uniform size that can be easily milled.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

I agree that the cypress trees in Louisiana should be saved especially since they live in such a fragile environment compared to our pines but I am curious as to whether or not you could use Leyland Cypress wood or Eastern Red Cedar. Both grow well here and the dead needles under the trees seem like they could also be used for mulch.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = tenuous statement

razorback33: I want to address your post "I question the tenuous statement on the saveourcypress site, that some Cypress trees are harvested solely for mulch
production."

I can assure you that these forests/swamps are being clear cut for mulch. These trees are 80-100 years old and not suitable for lumber. Further the industry does not hide the fact that these trees are being clear cut for mulch.

Educated landowners that grow their trees for lumber do selective cutting. Cut the prime, leave the smaller ones. Smaller ones will have more light and become prime. Rinse and Repeat...

In regards to your statement: "Maybe they should send some representatives to the GA Capitol each year and observe the environmentally concerned organizations pressuring the House and Senate members to protect our own resources."

Are you volunteering? Everyone has a vested interest in the outcome of this issue. Billions of Federal dollars are coming to Louisiana and the other gulf states to help protect it from the next natural disaster and to rebuild from the Katrina/Rita. The cypress forests/swamps and marsh are natures own and effective storm barriers. They serve to protect us from these types of natural forces and every bag of mulch made from these barriers puts us at more risk.

So stop buying cypress mulch, it's made from whole trees!

Here is a link that might be useful: Save Our Cypress


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

I found it hard also to find Pine Straw in Florida. I found this great company out of Deland FL called Jacks Pine straw. I only needed about 50 bales or so and they delivered it the next day without any gas charge or anything. Granted I live about twenty miles away.

I had the hardest time finding Pine straw. I do not live around a lot of trees so I can't just rake it up to use it. And since I only wanted about 50 bales it made it even harder, when I did find pine straw for sale they wanted me to buy a whole trailer (1000+ bales)!

I love Pine straw, and use it from now on. It keeps the weeds away and doesn't wash away in these heavy Florida rains! I reccomend Pine straw to everyone!


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

I am really struggling with this mulch issue too because I need a SAFE mulch for a kids play-set area that won't require cutting down cypress forests,that doesn't have toxins/fire issues like rubber mulch, isn't toxic to pets, is safe for falls, can't get stuck in ears and noses and won't stab any children who fall on it--which eliminates rubber, cypress, cocoa shells, pine straw, pea gravel, and most other wood mulches. I too was hoping Eucalyptus might be the answer, but can't find it in GA.


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RE: Save Our Cypress = Eucalyptus Mulch?

RB: I had seen an article a year or so ago in one of our environmental magazines about Home Depot buying cypress forests and clearcutting them for mulch. Haven't bought any since. What a rotten thing to do!

Suzthegardenmom: looks like you are going to have to upholster the area under your swingset! Seriously, though, sticking things up one's nose is a passing phase. A regular hardwood mulch (undyed!) spread thickly should be fine for the kids. Once they outgrow their play area, just think of the soil you will have!

Quirky: I would add to your list of Tree of Heaven and Mimosa, Kudzu, Privet and Bamboo! Bamboo actually makes a great mulch.


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