Monday, April 10, 2006

Save cypress forests

Gulf Restoration Network:

The logging of cypress forests for garden mulch destroys vital wetlands that protect the coast of Louisiana from hurricanes. At a time when Louisiana is asking the federal government for billions of dollars for coastal restoration, the state needs to preserve its existing coastal cypress forests. Scientists believe that many coastal cypress forests will never regenerate once logged. Cypress trees take as much as a century to mature, and their seedlings require at least a short period of dryness each year in order to survive. Because of changes in water flow over the past century, many cypress forests are now permanently flooded and will not regenerate.

There are numerous alternatives to cypress mulch. Many people believe that cypress mulch is a superior product. However, the trees that are being harvested in Louisiana are generally young and do not have the rot-resistant qualities for which older cypress trees are revered. Yard waste and compost material are actually better garden mulches, and if you want to buy wood mulch, plantation-grown pine bark is a better choice.

I was pushing the cypress mulch issue on PGR long before Hurricane Katrina, so I was shocked recently to find a mountain of cypress mulch in front of a local supermarket. SHAME!

It's true that a lot of cypress comes from Florida (or at least the companies are Florida-based, so the bags have Florida printed on them), but that shouldn't provide any comfort to gardeners. At least some of that mulch in those bags is from Florida companies that ran out of cypress there, so they came to Louisiana to ruin our wetlands.

It used to be that cypress mulch was just the bark, and that at least the lumber was used as a beautiful and water resistant wood for houses and furniture. These days, lumber companies just chew up the whole tree for mulch.

DON'T BUY CYPRESS! Tell your neighbors, and tell your store manager, that killing Louisiana wetlands to beautify lawns is either criminal or insane.


At 4/10/2006 09:56:00 AM, Blogger Michael said...

First, why would anyone waste good wood like cypress for MULCH? Geez...that's like using high grade gold ore as road fill.

Not that I advocate continued cutting of cypress anyway, but if they are logging, there are a lot better uses for the wood.

At 4/24/2006 02:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a difficult time believe that any company would pass up the opportunity to sell cypress lumber over cyress mulch. That's like refusing to mine gold so you can mine copper.


Post a Comment

<< Home