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northern source for pine straw?

Posted by poaky1 6 Pa (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 20, 10 at 18:36

I know pine straw is popular down south and is sold in bales at big box stores, but is there any northern source that anyone knows of? I'm in Pa and would need to have a tractor trailer deliver a large amount and I don't have the budget for that, not to mention that the distance may be further than these companies will deal with. We have pines up here so why is it only a southern thing? I like the look and slower decomposing of pine needles. I have gotten some while getting fall leaves from the township compost site but not nearly what I'd like. I have many "islands" with trees and perennials. it helps by staying there longer than the shredded wood mulch and I don't have to spread it as thick and can keep up with the replenishing better.I know the decomposing is good but I have alot to mulch so if I can get away with less work I'm all for it.


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RE: northern source for pine straw?

It's a matter of availability :-) Pine straw mulch that is typically widely available in southern states is from a variety of long needled pines that grow there natively. The same types of pines do not grow in northern states, therefore, it is far less available, although not impossible to obtain. Typically, favored commercial mulches tend to be of products common to that area - pine straw in the south, redwood or eucalyptus along the west coast (CA), cedar in the PNW and various other hardwood mulches from trees common to other areas in those areas.

It IS possible to mail order pine straw, although whether or not that would be the most cost effective solution for you is something you need to determine. Personally, I'd go for what is readily and locally available first as that tends to be the least expensive, if not perhaps the longest lasting. Sometimes durability is not the most important consideration :-) Your choice!

Here is a link that might be useful: pine straw mail order source


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RE: northern source for pine straw?

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.,USA (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 20, 10 at 23:49

Short needle pine has a 6 inch needle, Long needle has a 12 to 14 inch needle. People in the south throw it in the land full. I would not lie to you.
If you can get a cost to ship the bales from Columbia, South Carolina to your town, I will drop it off at the UPS or what ever you want. But you will fine it cost 3-5 dollars a bale & shipping is not cheat. No JOKE, let me know if you want some shipped to you.


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RE: northern source for pine straw?

It may be because the marketers do not perceive a market for pine straw up here or maybe getting the pine straw into plastic bags is not easy to do, but cypress mulches are sold up here so shipping should not be a problem.


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RE: northern source for pine straw?

Pine straw is not sold in bags. It is typically baled like a small, gently compressed hay bale. This allows for the easy shipping and storage of lots and lots of pine straw.

Loblolly or Longleaf pine straw is a wonderful mulch, but there are some draw backs. The stuff I've seen in the big box stores often looks old and dusty to me. Pine straw doesn't last all that long, and the bales should be fresh when purchased.

As it ages a bit, pine straw becomes highly flammable, too. It's use has been stopped in many communities along roadsides, rest areas, municipal buildings, etc. for that reason.

Much of the economical value of using pine straw is lost as you realize that it had to be applied at least twice a year, if not more. It becomes gray and brittle in the summer sun and not attractive (or effective) as it breaks down.

Then, of course, in your area the cost of shipping would be the primary problem (as has been mentioned). Oh, the chiggers and ticks. Has anyone mentioned that, yet. ;-)


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RE: northern source for pine straw?

I had checked out the site in the link provided in the past. If I'm not mistaken they are in Texas. My budget is not going to allow that. I am in Pa. I have seen the southern pines while down there recently and I know what you mean by the needle difference. I was lucky enough to get some free needles this fall from the local compost site most were white pine and some were a fairly thick and 4 inch long, not sure what kind.I would buy white pine if they sold it here, I just put on a little thicker.I guess I'll be going to the leaf drop off each fall and be happy with what I get. If I wouldn't have flew back from my trip I would have loaded my friends truck up.


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RE: northern source for pine straw?

I live in metro Atlanta and most of the homes around here have pine straw. I had it at first but became frustrated with it. If you walk in your beds at all, it will break down the pine straw and it tracks all over the place (and into your house). And what rhizo said, it has to be replaced twice a year and turns an ugly gray color from the sun.

It IS good on hills, because it will not run down a slope like bark or other mulches. If you can get the Florida long needle, that would be best. I do now have a thriving loblolly forest in my back yard and we now have our own pine straw supply for that area.


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