How to Rake Pine Needles


Pine needles that fall from evergreen trees and cover your entire lawn or backyard can be as much of a cleanup challenge as autumn leaves. But there is value in your fluffed mounds of fallen brown or orange pine needles, also known as pine straw. Pine straw is a mulch that is frequently used for landscaping projects. Gather the pine needles from your yard by raking them, then bag the needles for future use. If you live in an area that experiences deep freezes or high snow accumulations, rake the needles in the spring so that they can protect your lawn over the winter.

Step 1

Remove sticks, rocks and debris from the needle-strewn area. It is much more laborious to rake the fine needles with debris mixed in. Save the sticks and twigs for your compost pile.

Step 2

Set the edge of your standard lawn or leaf rake at the edge of the lawn and rake backward. Pull the rake with you as you walk backward in short steps.

Step 3

Mound small piles of needles as you rake for easier pick-up later.

Step 4

Move your legs as you rake. Standing still can cause strain on your back.

Step 5

Switch the position of your hands on the rake handle occasionally to take pressure off your wrists, fingers and arms.

Step 6

Scoop the piles of pine needles into the wheelbarrow after raking the entire area. Use your gloved hands, the underside of the rake or a flat snow shovel to lift the needles.

Step 7

Pack the pine straw into heavy-duty garbage bags to save for use as landscaping or flower garden mulch. Alternatively, wheel the pine needles to an area on your property you have designated as a storage mound.

Things You'll Need

  • Standard lawn rake or curved rake
  • Gloves
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Heavy-duty garbage bags


  • Louisiana State University Agriculture Center: Raking Pine Straw
  • University of Florida Extension: Pine-Straw Management in Florida's Forests

Who Can Help

  • United States Forest Service: Eastern White Pine
  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Pine Straw as a Ground Cover Mulch
Keywords: pine needles, pine straw, mulch, rake pine needles

About this Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.