Pine trees, needles, and cones


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Old 02-21-16, 03:38 PM
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Pine trees, needles, and cones

We have 7 large (50ft tall, 1.5-ft diameter) pine trees in our backyard. We gave up on the typical grass due to the endless raining of needles and cones, but we're reconsidering trying to carve out a patch for grass. Are there any clever ways to deal with the needles and cones, or is i basically just a cut and dry - pick'em up?
 
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Old 02-21-16, 03:43 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Not sure there is anything [other than removing the trees] that you can do other than rake them up. Some reuse the needles as mulch although it isn't great for all plants. Stick around and see what some of the others say.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 04:05 PM
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It's not just the needles (which can smother the grass) but also the heavy shade that makes grass almost impossible to grow around pines. So if you do try grass, it will need to be a variety that is tolerant of shade. Besides raking the needles and cones, the biggest factor is keeping the trees trimmed up from the ground, 8-10' or more, so that light can penetrate. Adding manure/humus can help add nutrients if the topsoil is poor. You can also have the soil itself tested to see if adding any minerals might be helpful. Even then, it may be a struggle to grow grass near your trees.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 08:21 AM
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My understanding is pine trees also acidify the soil around them - triple whammy when trying to grow grass.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 10:55 AM
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That's a common misconception. The needles are acidic but it does not leach into the soil.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 11:55 AM
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Cool, thanks for the lesson
 
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Old 02-22-16, 04:00 PM
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I used to think the same thing, but this guy says its the shade and lack of microbes that makes the ground acidic.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_B8-1sVcfzE
 
 

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