(Predominantly used in Southern U.S.
Pine straw, which is essentially dried pine tree needles, is used as a ground
covering around trees, shrubs, and flower beds. Much like wood chips are
used elsewhere, the needles prevent erosion and weed growth while allowing water to
percolate through to the ground.
When first laid, pine straw is a bright rust color, but it quickly fades to a dull
brown. Because of this, to maintain a neat-looking garden/yard, the pine straw
must be replaced frequently. It is readily available in bales at garden stores,
hardware stores, and sometimes roaming delivery trucks.
Pine straw is used because of the tremendous number of available pine trees that grow
in the South, where the high clay content in the soil limits the
success of "leafy" trees.