Pine trees are abundant throughout forested and residential areas in the United States. Homeowners with pine trees in their yards may wonder what to do with all of the needles that fall to the ground. Surprisingly, pine needles have many uses that range from providing decorative accents to your home, to improving your health. Among the piles of raked pine needles in your yard lie opportunities for year-round fun and creativity.
Make Pine-Scented Sachets
Fresh pine needles placed in an organza bag or in cheesecloth make instant sachet bags. Tie the bags with a ribbon or yarn for an attractive closure. Place your pine sachets in drawers, closets, cars or any other place that requires freshening. These inexpensive sachets make great holiday gifts, too.
Use Pine Needles as Mulch
Pine needles make good mulch for many trees and shrubs. Place a 2-inch layer of pine needles in your landscape beds for plants that like acidic soils. Pine needles tend to stay in place well in the beds while allowing water, air and fertilizers to penetrate the soil beneath. As with most mulches, pests--including roaches and snakes--enjoy living among the needles, so use caution when stepping into the beds.
Brew Pine Needle Tea
Holistic medicine enthusiasts brew pine needle tea, which may provide vitamins and other health benefits. Commercial tea companies sell pine needle tea bags; however, you can make the tea at home by steeping clean pine needles in warm water.
Decorate Your Home for the Holidays
The smell of pine is popular around the winter holidays and natural pine needles make an attractive addition to your holiday decor. Place fresh pine needles in baskets with gourds, berries, or pinecones. Arrange the pine needles so that they show between the other items in the basket for a splash of color and fragrance. Pine needles also make a festive natural accent for table centerpieces. Position candles, berries, or flower vases then place pine needles so that they peek from beneath the decorations. Sprinkle the pine needles with fake snow for a wintery appearance.