Cypress Mulch

This post, “Cypress Mulch” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Today I received a comment about cypress mulch, specifically about not using it.  Being from South Louisiana, I have known for some time about the problems with using cypress mulch.

 

With the slogan “Why kill a tree to grow a flower”, there are several groups trying to educate people to let them know that the cypress mulch that is sold today is not termite-resistant, and degrades the cypress wetlands which in turn worsens coastal erosion.  Thousands of acres of cypress are harvested just to produce mulch.  Very little is replanted and even if it is replanted most of the seedlings do not survive the first year.

 

These grand trees can live to be 1500 years old and be 150 feet tall and 25 feet in girth.  They are home to many birds and mammals.  Check out this site from Florida’s Suncoast Native Plant Society.  This site also tells about how cypress mulch  appears to have a high water-retention ability which may reduce the amount of moisture available to plants.

 

This site from the National Wildlife Federation explains how the cutting of cypress trees is destroying the Gulf Coast’s coastline and doing more damage which makes us even more vulnerable to hurricanes like Katrina, not to mention the devastation to wildlife (60% of all US bird species pass through the swampy forests of the Gulf Coast). 

 

Both of these sites give alternatives for mulch for gardeners to use instead of Cypress.

 

This is a very serious issue.  Florida has been trying to educate people for years and now other states and organizations have joined the effort.  Wal-mart and Lowes have even agreed not to sell cypress mulch.  For more information, check out these two sites:

http://www.saveourcypress.org/

http://waterkeeper.org/mainarticledetails.aspx?articleid=255

 I believe that the statement by Bana Malik in his comment is true that “Our gardeners hold the key. We believe that gardeners must know the truth about cypress mulch, and will stop using cypress mulch when presented with the facts.”  So please think twice before using cypress mulch.

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5 Comments

  1. linnie said,

    March 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Jan
    Thank you so much for bringing this issue to the attention of us all. I live in Destrehan, Louisiana. We have programs in place to try to restore the swamps and wetlands to protect this area from hurricanes. I know you are aware of how important the preservation of the cypress trees and other coastal restoration efforts are to the Gulf Coast area from Texas to Florida. Thanks

    Linnie, Destrehan, LA 3/25/08

    You’re welcome. This is an issue that many people are simply not aware of, kind of like the stones used in decorating that come from third world countries that is contributing to erosion there.

  2. Phillip said,

    March 25, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I got that same message in an e-mail today. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen cypress mulch at any of my outlets but if I do, I will know to avoid it.

    Phillip, this is really important. I hope more garden outlets stop selling this mulch. Here, it is still being used both in home and commercial gardens. Here’s hoping that as people learn how damaging this is, it will not be used.

  3. Linda said,

    March 26, 2008 at 5:58 am

    I work at a greenhouse where we have a large poster and some newspaper articles posted on the wall in the check-out area for the past couple of years. Customers ask about it all the time. I’m glad we have an opportunity to raise awareness about this important issue. Most people in our area have been pretty unaware of the seriousness of this problem.

    I’m appalled that our government continues to tolerate the destruction of these slow-maturing trees that are turned into cheap garden mulch. Not only is it tolerated, but not nearly enough is being done to help the public understand the importance of this issue. Cypress mulch is still easily available at gas stations all over the Chicago area where I live. It’s disgusting.

    Well, Linda, all we can hope for is to educate people about this problem and the demand for cypress mulch will no longer be there. Thanks for supporting this effort.

  4. Brenda Kula said,

    March 26, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Well, I can’t say that I recall ever using cypress mulch per se. But I shall certainly pay more attention to what I do purchase. And heed your words. Thank you.
    Brenda

    Cypress mulch is still available at Home Depot so it is out there. Thanks for supporting this effort.

  5. MATT LITVAK said,

    September 14, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Can’t have cypress mulch, can’t have a toilet that flushes properly, can’t have airconditioning, can’t drive a large sedan or SUV, can’t drain the swamp on my property, can’t have a nuclear power plant, can’t burn a bunch of useless brush, can’t have a gun. Anything else we can’t have because you pussies are all upset about Americans being Americans?


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