Harvesting Pinestraw in Longleaf Pine Stands

Real income potential is possible on many longleaf forests found in eastern and southeastern North Carolina. This Forestry Leaflet explains the typical manner in which longleaf pinestraw is harvested.

Nutrition Management for Longleaf Pinestraw

Demand for pinestraw for use as mulch continues to rise dramatically. This demand has put considerable pressure on existing longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) stands due to frequent removal of pinestraw. While the sale of straw represents a financial opportunity for some private timberland owners, it can be a potential problem because of the repeated removal of nutrients from raked sites.

Producing Longleaf Pine Straw

Longleaf pine trees deposit a blanket of needles, often called pine straw, on the forest floor annually. Many forest owners do not realize that it is possible to sell this straw, but in fact wise management of this resource can substantially increase the owner’s income from the forest land. Retail sales of North Carolina longleaf pine straw in 1996 were estimated to exceed $25 million. This volume could easily be doubled or tripled if owners were more aware of this opportunity and if the market were expanded by promoting sales in states to our north.

Broader Topics