Advice needed - pine needles on driveway

bmblank

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2020 L3901HST, LA525 Loader, 66" Q/A Bucket, PFL2042 Forks, Meteor SB68PT Blower
Mar 4, 2015
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Cadillac, MI
Hey all, My property was at one point planted red pines. My driveway is a couple hundred feet all enclosed by red pines constantly dropping their needles and pine cones all over the driveway.

All that junk gets in the way when I'm trying to do any sort of driveway work. Is a pine straw rake going to be the best option for that, or should I just up to a landscape rake?

Driveway is currently just dirt (and 15 or 20 years of broken down pine needles), but we are planning on gravel/crushed concrete in the not so distant future. When removing the pine needles I don't want to remove the gravel as well. That's the main reason I'm thinking the straw rake would do the best.
Not to mention, the price is a lot more attractive and I could use it as a lawn dethather.

Input?
 

bcp

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A landscape rake is pretty good at moving gravel and dirt. It's almost like a serrated road grader blade.

If you want minimal disturbance, the pine straw rake is better for removing pine straw. :)

Bruce
 

Creature Meadow

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Pine straw rake I think would be best, once the tines on the landscape rake start to get filled with needles if the drive way is not hard packed it will begin to collect the material.

I have the same problem, I use my back pack blower to make piles then load in tractor bucket and store it away for later use. I do this often when it is falling so it goes pretty fast.

Best of luck.
Jay
 

Tughill Tom

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B3200
Dec 23, 2013
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Hey all, My property was at one point planted red pines. My driveway is a couple hundred feet all enclosed by red pines constantly dropping their needles and pine cones all over the driveway.

All that junk gets in the way when I'm trying to do any sort of driveway work. Is a pine straw rake going to be the best option for that, or should I just up to a landscape rake?

Driveway is currently just dirt (and 15 or 20 years of broken down pine needles), but we are planning on gravel/crushed concrete in the not so distant future. When removing the pine needles I don't want to remove the gravel as well. That's the main reason I'm thinking the straw rake would do the best.
Not to mention, the price is a lot more attractive and I could use it as a lawn dethather.

Input?
I use my Backback blower and the JD X380 mower to blow them off and then load up a move. Oh I'm taking down 5 of them later this Spring, all White Pines..... Good for nothing trees!
 

BigG

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l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
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Be careful when you say you are going to use crushed concrete for the drive way. The crushed concrete where they run pieces of concrete thru a rock crusher will be fine. Do not use "wash out" as it is too fine and dusty. It will also make a mess of the driveway.
 

Fordtech86

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Landscape rake just makes a bigger mess of it on gravel. I use my zero turn to blow the needles off the driveway into the yard.
 

NCL4701

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F4E9E5A2-0941-4A27-9787-734AAF85EF5F.jpeg

We have about 600’ of gravel driveways and three yards to deal with. Part of it I just took over maintaining a couple years ago. Leaves, etc. had been left on some of it for so many years some places had 4” of slick black mud over the gravel. After removing numerous yards of mud from the roads and reworking the gravel, I will NOT be letting leaves and or pine straw lay undisturbed on the road again. Blowing it off with blower is part of the process but it’s not a practical total solution for us.

I have this pine straw rake. It’s cheap so far as implements go and not heavy duty at all but that’s kind of a good thing as it will move pine straw and dry leaves without rearranging dirt or gravel. As best I recall it weighs about 150lb. If it was heavier it might dig in more, which wouldn’t be a good thing so I’m glad it’s not heavy. I need it once, maybe twice, a year for a total of three hours max, so I didn’t want to drop a bunch of money on it and don’t need commercial landscaper quality. If you want it perfect, you’ll probably have to get the last 5% with a blower. The pine straw rake will get the other 95%. 72” paired with a L4701 but I suspect pretty much anything with a Category 1 hitch or bigger would pull it. It’s literally a giant leaf rake and works very similar to the leaf rakes with a handle that you use with your hands, just much bigger. If the piles get so big that it’s just slam full and won’t pick up any more, I pick up the pile with the grapple and dump it somewhere out of the way. Makes pretty quick work of our leaf issues. I’m using mine mostly on leaves, not pine straw. My brother has exactly the same rake he uses with a JD about same size as mine and he has nothing but pine straw to deal with. Based on my test drive of his before I bought mine I think it works a little better on pine straw than leaves but it’s pretty good with leaves, too. For the test drive it was on his little JD 1025 and that pulled it fine. Of course YMMV.
 
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bmblank

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2020 L3901HST, LA525 Loader, 66" Q/A Bucket, PFL2042 Forks, Meteor SB68PT Blower
Mar 4, 2015
287
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Cadillac, MI
I think that seals it.

I just recently thought of a blower also, but I'm afraid that 1.) it won't pick up the stuff that gets ground in; I'd like to just go over it maybe a couple times a year - I could easily go out and blow off my driveway every couple weeks... And B.) I'm still only on a dirt driveway, and, while the gravel may be coming "soon", it could still end up being a year or two away. I don't want to blow my driveway away in a big dust storm.

I appreciate it.
 

Creature Meadow

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As far as blowing away your driveway!

When I bought the house I'm in the drive was covered with dirt and grass, could not see any of the gravel.

Killed the grass and weeds and started the restoration drive way project. Lowered mower as much as it would cut dead grass and blew it in the yard.

Over the next year I would use my land plane to drag the drive, about 600 feet 2 trucks wide in most places. After dragging the sun would dry it out and I would blow it slowly removing the dirt from the gravel. Took maybe 8 to 10 times but now I'm left with the mostly gravel. The land plane brings the gravel back to the surface and blowing keeps most of the dirt out of it.

Good luck with the way you go. Would like a pine needle rake but the back pack and Little Wonder parking lot blower serve me well. I dump all my leaves into my garden to add organic material back to it.

Jay
 

bmblank

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2020 L3901HST, LA525 Loader, 66" Q/A Bucket, PFL2042 Forks, Meteor SB68PT Blower
Mar 4, 2015
287
32
28
Cadillac, MI
Unfortunately I don't have any gravel below my dirt. Only thing below the dirt is sand. And that's in the well established portions. The newer portions don't even have the dirt over the sand.
 

Tarmy

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I have 500’ and use a good Stihl backpack blower...use it to pile up the needles as well. Works great.