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Blossoms on the Chinese Cherry bushes and the crabapple tree are a welcome sign of spring. Come spring, however, we have to deal with the multitude of pine needles that have fallen over the winter. The ponderosa pine keeps needles for three years and in the fall and winter, those that immerged three years ago fall to the ground. If left alone, the forest floor would be carpeted with needles, allowing little else to grow ( a great mechanism for the ponderosa pine to hog the moisture and nutrients). Clearing the needles, lets grass and other plants grow. We remove the needles on over half of our five acre property, which amounts to a lot of needles, a task that would not be possible without my sweeper. In the picture below is one of six stacks of needles that are collected. The tractor and sweeper can't go in tight places among the trees, so there is a lot of hand raking that has to be done.
You might ask, "What do you do with all those needles?". Luckily, there's a free slash collection place nearby, where people can bring tree branches and small trees as well as pine needles, where they are ground into mulch that is available at no cost.
A few years ago we had to cut down a
beetle-infested tree. A short video of the event can be seen by
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