Needles

IMG_0399x1000Out back on the side-yard corner, “behind” the plastic shed there’s a pine tree. Nice shade with a thick carpet of needles. I mean THICK.
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We went around and raised the “skirt,” so now I can get under it and mow what vestigial grasses appeared to grow.
More of an illusion of grass given the thickness of the underlying carpet, the green-grass came-up with the needles after an easy swipe of the metal rake.
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Up on the other side of the tree, behind it and toward the fence is a shallow grave or something. A bunch of refuse was piled and covered-up – including the coral from the fish-tank. There’s a thickly matted growth of something underfoot that crunches when you walk on it and is not entirely pine needles either. Previous septic?
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From the looks of the slope this is water run-off channel, maybe a “French Drain” given all the rocks and gravel underfoot. And pine needled. LOTS of needles.
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So with a few limbs removed from the previous effort, I drove the trailer around to deal. At least ten bags filled and barely a dent.
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At least the weather is permissible and pleasant, Happy Valentines – until it rains again!.

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About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

16 thoughts on “Needles

    • The pine tree is close enough to be a torch, the oaks out in the field not so much! Besides, I need the exercise – but I’m gonna get some help and maybe a skip for all the debris.

  1. Dig up all those needles. It constitutes a fuel dump. Toss a pile into your fireplace during your next fire. Should burn pretty quick, after it dries from the fire. Just for reference, although it may provide a nice fragrance, depending on the tree.

    I’ve been doing this under a large pine in the side yard. Hasn’t been touched for more than 30 years. One to two feet deep, all the way out to the limits of the span. Along with the two smaller ones up against the house, this extended to the wall and fence. The lower branches are as large as a typical tree, just by themselves. Huge output.

    • Sounds good! Also sounds like you are dealing with a similar situation, though mine is younger and not as deep.
      With it so wet however, the layer a foot down is very soggy and mulchy,

    • Hmm, that didn’t read the way I intended. I was thinking about maybe a double handful or so, from surface and deep, getting it dried out, and then tossing some on the fire to gauge it’s possible fire potential. I understand it can vary depending on age and type of tree, etc.
      ——————
      Keep your eye out for old garden tractors that have the optional front end loader setup, either with it, or still available on the hobby market. They are generally considered too small for commercial use, but for small property maintenance they are worth the effort to deal with, if obtained for a good price.

      I can’t remember the brand, but my father had several that were from the 50’s, I think. Single cylinder, rated about 12hp. Looked just like a full size farm tractor. Only real problem I recall was the carbs were really worn out. I would look for motorcycle carbs for replacement, if I owned them. Unfortunately, they all went with his property, when my sister sold it off before he died.

    • I’m sure a double handful would be as good as newspaper to start a fire, I’m just thinking that I don’t have enough covered storage for the huge quantities of it! My buddy also wants me to take pine-tree logs off his hands but I’d rather burn oak than have to get the chimney sweep out all the time…
      I’m on the lookout for those old garden tractors! My problem seems to be a seat-to-foot issue that aggravates my back with the current mower. I have rather long legs that can’t stand the cramped space, and would like to re-locate the current seat further up higher and back further, but there’s no real provision for that. Maybe I need a mower that can accommodate me better. I had no problem on my XR650L with the nosebleed-tall seat height, and even added tall foam to the KTM300 seat when I re-built it, to make it a better fit. After whacking around on the Ariens mower I feel like a double-pretzel!

    • Consider mocking up a riser for the seat mount. Use some lumber bits to get an idea of how much rise and setback you require for comfort with control. Then take the seat and mount to your local welder/fabricator.

      Probably still best to take the whole tractor with you, as the additions may have to be added to the chassis side, instead of the seat side, of the mount. You would like to avoid the awkward discovery that a re-positioned seat leaves you with less than full movement of an important control input. Shifting a seat a few inches might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how often things go wrong.

      But first, do a bit of research to see if there isn’t already a seat extender/riser on the market for your setup. Usually better if you don’t have to pay for R&D thinking on top of fab costs. This lets others discover the problems that belong in the “oops!” column.

    • Should I spread it out on the field? I don’t have a garden or a mulch-pile. I’m trying to increase my defensible space before summer gets here and the fires start again.

    • I would run the mower over it to break it down as much as possible, then put in wire surround to compost. Put it in an out of the way place so it doesn’t make a fuel ladder to your buildings or trees. Its a great mulch, though somewhat slow to break down.
      As far as burning it in your fireplace as mentioned, I personally don’t, too much chance of a flue fire.

    • It’s a bit difficult to get the mower in there and the hillside is very uneven. Maybe it will mulch-up in the swamp!? I can drive over and mow/mulch it when the water goes down in a month or so.
      As for a fire, it’s got an awful lot of sap – I prefer burning oak.

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