Melaleuca, also known as the punk tree or paperbark tea tree, is native to Australia and was introduced to Florida in the 1920’s to dry up the wetlands, but has become increasingly invasive to many natural wetland and upland areas, including the Florida Everglades. Having taken over hundreds of thousands of acres of our Everglades and killed off vital native species to Florida, prevention of further loss from degradation of wetlands is essential in the restoration of the south Florida ecosystem.
Invasive species like Melaleuca contribute to degradation of the wetlands, and should be curtailed. When Melaleuca is purchase instead of Cypress, for example, you help Melaleuca-infested areas return to a more natural state by creating space for native species, like Cypress. By buying Melaleuca mulch, you are in effect helping to restore the Cypress population and Florida Wetlands.