Pine Straw Production

  • Pine straw makes a great, lightweight mulch
  • The sale of pine straw can boost a landowner's income
  • Pine stands can be raked at 8 years of age
  • Only rake 2-4 times during a rotation

Production of Pine Straw

Pine straw is very beneficial when used as a mulch cover and can provide supplemental income to forest owners during years that no timber is harvested. These publications discuss the uses of pine straw, the gathering, bailing and selling of pine straw, and the environmental effects of removing straw from forests.

Other Publications

Pine Straw Management in Florida's Forests (PDF)
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service

This publication discusses the raking, baling and sale of slash and longleaf pine straw in Florida. The best time to start raking is when the pine stand is eight years old, and winter is the best season to do the raking. Since pine straw is beneficial to the forest, it is best to only rake two to four times during the rotation. The straw can be sold to customers, a retailer, or to a pine straw company. This publication also covers how much straw will be produced per acre from trees of different ages. It provides management techniques that include creating a plan, controlling weeds, raking and baling, and fertilizing. It names programs that assist landowners in pine straw enterprises.

Sample Pine Straw Contract (PDF)
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service

An example of a contract for the collection of pine straw.

Nutrition Management for Longleaf Pine straw (PDF)
North Carolina State University Extension

This publication covers the growing of longleaf pines, how to rake and bale the straw, the size and weight of the bales, how much straw is produced typically per year, management techniques that help produce the ideal bale of straw, and the selling of pine straw.

Pine Needles - A Hot New Commodity (PDF)
USDA Agricultural Research, May 1996

This article discusses when and how to harvest so that the forest is not harmed and economical aspects of pine straw harvesting.

Pine Straw Market Sheet (PDF)
George Rowland, Coordinator, North Central Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council

This publication provides facts about pine straw including a list of management tips for pine straw baling and a list of things to avoid.

Pine Straw Baler Plans (PDF)
Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service

Illustration of construction of a pine straw baler.

How to Create a Business Plan