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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a customer with 4 roadside pine trees that are about 50 feet tall. Many of the branches touch the ground and mowing around them is a real pain. I was thinking of pruning all the branches off to about 5 feet off the ground and then putting bark mulch underneath. Any tricks or tips on the pruning? And with the mulching, should I get rid of the existing needles before mulching? And finally, what would be a good planting that would survive underneath the trees? Thanks!
 

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One word of caution before you start heading up evergreens. Many times the lower limbs provide support for those above. When you start removing the lower limbs, the higher ones start dropping down. You'll find that you're actually removing limbs much higher than 5 feet to get the 5 foot clearance you hope for. An alternative may be to edge just outside the branches on the ground, then mulch that area and back under the outer branches.
 

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I did a job earlier this month for a guy who wanted about 200' feet of pine trees that were probably 30' tall trimmed from the ground up to about 3', then taperd out so he could mow under them w/his rider. It worked great, and looks great. We just used pruners to take off the branches, then raked all the dead needles and hauled them to the dump (about 10 loads of them!) I think you definitely should get rid of the dead needles before putting mulch down. Another thing...wear long pants, and long sleeves, and gloves...pine neeleds are murder on your skin. Make sure you wear clothes that you might not want to wear again...the pitch will get on your clothes, and I have not heard of a way of getting it out. Good luck on the job!
 

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Like a red-headed step child.:p

I just PM'd you.



On the plants under the trees, something that doesn't require a lot of water, because the trees will take most of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree about the trees. That's why I'm trying to do this job for her. The trees are a major pain in my butt to mow around. I was hoping to at least be able to make it bearable to mow. Most of the limbs drag the ground and catch on the mower all the time. I don't think anyone has ever done a thing to these trees so anything will be an improvement. Can you prune them anytime of the year?
 

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The trees that we trimmed only had grass growing up to about 5 feet from the tree, there was nothing growing under them because all the needles kept it all covered.
 
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