Landowners growing pine trees to sell for timber may not realize they have an annual cash crop when the trees shed their needles every autumn. Pine needles, sometimes called pine straw, are sold to landscapers, garden centers and nurseries for use as mulch. Pine straw mulch remains loose and allows air and water to infiltrate the ground below, unlike firmer mulches that tend to crust over. Pine straw is a popular mulch in the southern United States.
Things You'll Need
- Yard waste bags
- Work gloves (optional)
Contact your county extension office to find pine straw producers in your area. Call several and ask their current price. Also ask if they will rake and bale the pine straw for you or if you should deliver it to them raked.
Wait for the pine needles to fall.
If you must rake the needles yourself, use a standard garden rake. Avoid using a rake with metal prongs because they are more likely to damage the soft earth beneath the needles.
Shovel the pine straw into a wheelbarrow or large yard waste bag. If you have access to a truck, cart the pine straw to the truck and dump it out.
Drive to the pine straw producer you've chosen. He will weigh your pine straw, pay you, bale the straw and sell it.
Tips & Warnings
- Landowners with several acres of pine can buy a pine straw baler through Agriquip or other companies. The equipment is pricey and isn't recommended unless you have a lot of pine trees.
- You will get more money up front if you rake and deliver the pine straw yourself, but you'll spend less of your own time if you choose a pine straw company that rakes and bales for you.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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