Synthetic pine straw is yet another cost-effective and environmentally friendly product that is produced from recycled materials. Natural pine straw comes from the dropped needles of various species of pine trees. In recent years fresh pine straw has been more and more difficult to come by which prompted the development of synthetic pine needles. When processed into pine straw mulch, the end result is known as Textraw®.
The term mulch references a protective barrier that is placed on the top of soil to keep moisture in, insects out, as well as impede weeds and erosion. Mulch also serves as insulation for plants, especially in colder climates. Traditionally, mulch consisted of natural forestry products such as shredded tree bark, fallen leaves, or pine needles. As environmental concerns grew over deforestation, the need for synthetic mulch products that could fulfill the demand, as well as conserve natural resources was realized. Besides Textraw®, synthetic mulch has also been produced from recycled rubber.
Synthetic pine mulch, not only looks natural, it performs better than the original across the board. It retains moisture better, maintains it color, does not decompose and does not attract weeds or insects. Most importantly, it does not harm the environment. Available in non-toxic, non-fading brown, red and golden brown colors, the synthetic version closely simulates organic 10”-14” reddish-brown pine needles. Beyond their functional value, rubber pine needles enhance the beauty of residential and commercial landscapes.
As with natural pine straw, Textraw® is periodically flipped and tossed so that the surface needles are turned over and the bottom needles are raised up. This keeps the mulch fresh looking and helps to increase its longevity. Textraw® does not become matted as the natural product, allowing for greater breathability and oxygenation. This in turn impedes the growth of fungus and mold.
The synthetic pine straw is applied in the same manner as its natural counterpart, by tossing it loosely over the ground that is to be covered. On average, a 20 lb. roll of the synthetic pine needles will provide a 3.5”deep cover for 40 sq. feet. It would take 30 lbs of the natural product to cover the same area. The difference in cost is significant with Textraw® at 86 cents a sq. foot and pine straw at $1.19.
The environmental, financial, aesthetic and maintenance-free benefits of synthetic mulch products warrant consideration in the landscaping of private and public spaces.