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.