How to Remove Pine Needles from Landscaping

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Pine trees are large, gorgeous, smell nice, and stay green. They also drop pine needles everywhere, all year long. Pine needles are acidic, can ruin your grass, and are dense enough to not blow away in the wind. Once a pine needle has fallen, it will stay there until removed by man or animal. While some people may prefer the "pine look" of needles covering all their landscaping, others prefer a more manicured lawn. For those people, removing pine needles may be ongoing, but it does not need to be laborious.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Rake
  • Bags
  • The Comb

Removing Pine Needles

  • Try the easiest method first, simply mowing your lawn. Unfortunately, the shape of pine needles makes them resistant to mulch mowing, so that will not work. To remove the pine needles from a lawn, you will need to bag mow it. There will still be pine needles left on the lawn.

  • Using your rake, rake up and bag all the remaining pine needles. Once raked and bagged, you can use them as mulch in a flower garden or landscaping, but keep in mind that pine needles have an acidic content, so use them sparingly.

  • Mowing and raking may still not do the trick, can be a little back-breaking, and will not work well on landscaped areas. You can purchase a special product designed specifically for removing pine needles from screens, roofs, lawns, and landscaping, such as The Comb, which is available from pinecomb.com. Use it like a rake, and then bag and throw away the needles.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pine needles are so dense that they do not move in wind, and they have a very slow decomposition rate. This makes them wonderful ground cover and mulch for small landscaped areas. If you have a pine tree, or your neighbor does, consider bagging the pine needles, then using them as mulch for your landscaped areas and save money on other ground covers.
  • If the grass under your pine tree is not growing, it could be due to the acidity of the pine needles, but it also could be because of the tree itself. Grass has a hard time growing under large trees where it does not receive enough sunlight, and has to compete the large roots for nutrients. To increase your grass growth, consider cutting back the limbs of the pine tree so there is a good distance from the lowest branch to the ground. This will allow for more light. Also, consider creating a mulch ring around the tree, so that grass will not try to grow so close to the tree competing for the nutrients.

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