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Excessive Pine Straw

When I moved into my new home in October 2007, there was a large amount of pine straw packed around the base of my pine tree. When I attempted to remove it my neighbor told me not to remove it because it was good for the tree. The tree appears to be in good shape. Except for a 12 inch gauge in the tree where someone may have hit it with a car (it sits next to my neighbor's driveway) it looks perfectly fine.

What do you think? I want to remove it so my yard will look neat. The old straw is also killing the grass underneath. What should I do?

Re: Excessive Pine Straw

It's not going to hurt a thing if you remove the pine straw .
There will be people that tell you to leave it there to help retain moisture , blah , blah . Pine straw will settle and pack so tight that water won't penetrate through it very well .
If it's a healthy , mature tree , the benefits of mulch around the base are minimal .

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