|Wednesday What's New: No to Cypress Mulch|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 23 March 2011|
While those naturally insect resistant cypress trees make an excellent mulch for the garden, pine is a much more environmentally friendly alternative. Why? For the simple reason that pine trees are grown on plantations and cypress are not. Cypress (Taxodium distichum) is native to the southeastern US but is found as far north as the coast of Delaware, and typically grow in wetlands like the one pictured above. They also do fine when they don’t have "wet feet", but I’ll save that for another edition of The Daily Dirt. Logging these trees for mulch creates big problems. Here’s why.
As we know, wetlands are extremely valuable ecosystems--particularly in places like Louisiana and Florida where hurricanes can cause significant damage. Cypress wetlands like these filter pollutants from water, provide habitats for wildlife, and recharge groundwater. More importantly (from a human viewpoint), they protect the coastline from storm surges by retaining storm water during hurricanes and buffering the effects.
It seems that in the past ten years or so cypress logging as an industry has taken off. According to the Louisiana Forestry Association, loggers are razing up to 20,000 acres of cypress every year, most of it not for wood for furniture or houses, but for …mulch. And, it is all above board. Supporters say logging provides desperately needed jobs. But at what expense? If the present logging trend continues, it is only a matter of decades before southern Louisiana is obliterated. Then what?
To "just say no" to cypress mulch click here.