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Pine trees

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kturner, Jun 24, 2001.

  1. kturner

    kturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I just started a new contract with some serious pines around the lawn. Does anyone have a couple hints for cambatting the needles and other damage the trees to to the grass? Do I use lime for the acidity? When and how much?

    How do I remove the needles also.

    thanks guys.

    By the way, is yellowing possibly from the acidity or is that more likely a watering problem?
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Yellowing is probably from too much water or lack of iron.

    Pine needles are a major pain in the grass. Hard to mulch, impossible to bag unless you chop them up first. If the yard has a hidey hole I keep pushing them towards it. If not I run over them a hundred times to turn them to dust.

    It ain't easy, gotta keep hittin' them.
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Whenever we get a new contract with pines the first thing we do is to grub out the grass underneath them to the dripline of the tree. This will eliminate much of the yellowing problem around the trees.

    As for pine needle removal we will do this during the sping clean up. We tell our clients that the needles will provide much needed mulch for the harsh winter months naturally. Then we use steel tine rakes to remove them in the early months at the beginning of the season.

    Those that stray into the lawn area are fine and are usually not a problem as they are removed during the mowing intervals. If there is a heavy accumulation of them then they should be raked from the turf areas to prevent smothering the grasses.

    If you test soil samples they will tell you whether you need to increase or decrease the pH. Although many will debate this, many LCOs apply heavy rate lime (40-50lbs/m sf). I apply 10lbs/m sf.

    Hope this helps.
  4. kturner

    kturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Hey, I really appreciate that. Doesn't heavy raking in the spring stunt growth? I have been hoping not to do that until fall. The needles are a bear though.
    Do you apply powdered lime in a spreader?

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    Get pelleted lime. The powder is a pain to spread.
  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    does your agreement with the client call for you to correct the problems caused by the pines?

    if yes, how can you bid without knowing how to correct the problem? if not, what is the problem?

    I'm just confused on how you worked this.:)

  7. Alanky

    Alanky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    do you have a leaf vaccum? My 8hp billy goat does a great job of sucking pine needles up, beats raking if you ask me! Only thing is after you suck em up you got to haul em away, that and its pretty dusty.
  8. kturner

    kturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Thanks again guys.

    I will go for pelletized and keep the powder for the veggies.

    Geogunn, what we do is total package maintenance plans. I have to pretty much take care of anything, no matter what. I just have so much to learn. It's a pain but the work is much lighter and, I find, lucrative. So, if the owner finds little teeny blue bugs on the rasberries, we have to find out their names and ask them to move along. I can see having some problems with some people being demanding, but we wrote a pretty good scope of service, so so far so good.

    Leaf vaccuum? Like my Echo handheld? No, I don't. This being the Evergreen state and all, I should probably check it out. 8 HP sucks em out and doesn't tear the grass apart? Sounds good.

    So, you've all helped so much, maybe you can answer one more. Ever see little blue bugs on raspberries? :D
  9. Alanky

    Alanky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    nope not like a hand held, it has four wheels and is 8hp, mine is a billy goat but they have other brands. the 8hp gets em up with out hurting the grass and even gets some of the dry grass if it hasnt been dethatched (spelled that one wrong!). I have it on the highest wheel setting to so it might pull up some grass if it was lower. It is very powerful so if you have weak rooted grass this may not be a good idea, or go with one of the smaller models.
  10. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    The Walker does a great job of vacuuming up pine needles, cones, earthworms, magma.
    I prefer not to mulch them because the acid is still present after mulching. Reducing the needles is a good start at establishing something. If you can, trim up about 8 feet or so to allow some sun and water in also.

    The best thing you can do is 1 cut pruning at ground level. Good Luck.

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