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Flammability of Selected Landscaping Mulches

Researchers from the US Forest Service - Southern Research Station (SRS-4952), the University of Florida and the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a flammability study of four mulches commonly used around homes: pine straw, shredded cypress, small pine bark and large pine bark. Many people use these mulches directly up to and in contact with their homes, yet little is known about their flammability. The information from this study will help homeowners determine the best mulch types to have around their homes in the event of fire threat.

The following videos were taken of the mulch flammability studies in May of 2010 at the University of Florida’s Ordway-Swisher Biological Station and demonstrate how each mulch type burned under three different moisture regimes: (1) watered on a weekly basis; (2) mimicking rainfall conditions for a 15-day drought; and (3) mimicking rainfall conditions for a 30-day drought.

For more information about flammability visit our Fact Sheets section.

Mulches Watered on a Weekly Basis

Mulches on a 15-Day Drought Cycle

Mulches on a 30-Day Drought Cycle

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