Winter Pine Straw

A fresh batch of pine straw should be going down soon in the front entrance, park, and rear entrance. Our landscaper informs us that he has been able to source some very high-quality pine straw in the quantity we need for our community–about 440 bales–and has placed us on the schedule for install.

We use several companies to source and install pine straw so that we obtain the best price and quality. We’ve had issues with the quality of the pine straw in the past, so we check what installers will be putting out along with pricing. This is important given the quantity and cost of the pine straw we install.

Two of the three installers we’ve used in recent years have either gone out of business or stopped offering pine straw installation due to labor and supply issues. Our third installer, who is also our landscaper, has had trouble sourcing quality pine straw–bright orange color–this year and finding enough people to get it installed. This created delays in getting pine straw out in our community and others.

We budget for two applications of pine straw each year. We generally expect to have one application installed in mid to late spring and a second in late fall. We skipped the spring 2021 application because we were unable to source high quality straw. The straw we had in place still had good color and enough volume to provide good coverage of the ground. We elected to apply small quantities throughout the summer as needed. We requested an install of our fall straw in early December to allow time for the fall pine straw harvest, ensuring we had the highest quality straw. Unfortunately, supply and capacity issues delayed the install again, pushing us into January.

2021 was a challenging year for pine straw. We’ve seen supply, quality, and capacity issues that have driven the cost of pine straw and installation up. We saw some of these issues in 2010, but they soon corrected. We are hopeful we’ll also see a correction in 2022.

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