How To Rake Pine Needles & 5 Other Ways To Do It; Yard Maintenance 101

How do I remove pine straws from my yard with a rake?

Unlike raking leaves from deciduous trees, pine noodles (sorry, I mean needles) are difficult to clear. Give that credit to their thin, light, and small structure.


Of all the tried-tested clearing methods, raking is found the most effective/convenient way around these straw-like leaves. Though not for when you’ve them fallen in tight spots,

But, now:

The big question is how to rake pine needles and keep your space tidy all the time.

Don’t sweat it:

In this article, I have explained just that and 5 other ways to clean up pine needles for a tidy yard.

So, let’s start with…

How To Rake Pine Straws

Now listen:

While a regular rake will do, there are rakes specially designed to clear pine straws like breeze. You can purchase a pine straw hand rake or pine straw baler from your favorite store.


You can choose to build a homemade pine straw rake from scratch. Check this thread or this one. Both are from my 2 fav tractor/lawnmower forums, showing how 2 guys built theirs.

Other raking tools you need are:

  • Trash bags/collecting bags
  • Working gloves
  • Boots- for a swampy landscape

Before moving on to the step-by-step:

The first thing you should do is clear the area of twigs, branches, pine cones, and other debris for burning. This prepares the ground for easy raking.

To make this even easier:

If you have access to a lawnmower, use it for this purpose. In fact, a lawnmower also helps to pick some of the loose straws. This way, you have less work to do with your rake below.

  • STEP 1; put on your gloves, boots, and other safety gears to avoid getting prickled
  • STEP 2; drag the rake quickly across the yard just like you do a regular rake
  • STEP 3; on reaching smaller needles, switch to a slower motion enough for the prongs to catch them
  • STEP 4; scoop all the needles in your trash bags
  • STEP 5; burn or recycle the needles or use a pine straw baler to prepare them for sale

And that’s it:

You can as well use the following video on how to rake pine needles.

Or likewise:

You can watch this guy use a motorized pine straw rake.


If you’re allergic to pines, get someone else to do the raking for you. You’ll notice getting itchy and red during handling if you’re allergic.

So, as promised:

Below are some other ways to clear your yard or landscape off pine straws/needles.

First one:

How To Sweep Pine Needles

This is what matters the most:

The type of broom you use. Often, you’ll see different brands of push/power brooms in the market. But finding the best broom for pine needles is key.

(GOLDEN TIP; always go for brooms with thick bristles).

Once you find one:

Follow these steps…

  • STEP 1; clear the yard off stumps and debris for easy broom movements
  • STEP 2; hold the end pole of your broom with one hand for stability and the middle with the other hand for control
  • STEP 3; start from an edge of the yard, pushing the needles toward you
  • STEP 4; stop at an interval to collect needles in your trash bags until you’re done
  • STEP 5; repeat the process for the final sweep
  • STEP 6; burn or recycle or sell needles

Another option below:

How To Clear Needles With A Blower

So, listen:

This is the best answer for how to clean up pine needles from rocks. And there’s no secret path around it. If you already use a blower on snow and debris around rocks, it’s just the same way.


Watch this guy clean up pine needles with a 2 Echo PB8010 Backpack Blower…

Moving on:

How To Vacuum Pine Straws


Vacuum systems are also effective for high-precision, low-stress pine needle cleaning. But make sure you’re using a pine needle vacuum and not just the regular.

As a help:

You can watch the following review of a perfect leaf vacuum for pine needles.

Next up:

How To Clear Pine Straws With Small Garden Shovels

Know this:

You’ll have needles hiding in tight corners. That’s where small garden shovels work. Especially in some garden areas where you don’t want a vacuum ruining your flowers and vegetables.

To use a small garden shovel:

  • STEP 1; put on your protective gloves
  • STEP 2; holding a small garden shovel
  • STEP 3; free your thumb and use it to hold needles to the shovel as you collect them
  • STEP 4; transfer needles into a waste bag

Moving on:

How To Powerwash Pine Needles

So, basically:

Powerwashers are mostly used to push out the pine needles caught around rocks. However, when people ask how to clean pine needles for craft, powerwashers become an answer too.


Powerwashers are also great to work around patios, areas with stoneworks, and decks. It’s a great way to remove pine while cleaning those areas at the same time.


Using a pressure washer on needles from a pine tree is just the same way you wash a car with the system. But in this case, you would be shooting waterjets at angles that knock off needless to the direction you want.

One thing though:

Always set your pressure level at medium to avoid property damage, especially when clearing around a deck.

Rounding this up:


The good thing:

With pine trees on your property, you get an exclusive shade and privacy on a long winter with subzero temperatures. Likewise during the heatwave of many summers to come.

The ugly side:

Pine trees shed a lot of needles (leaves) after a few autumn seasons. And the thing is, leaving those shed needles around for long kills your grasses or even causes physical injuries.

Even worse:

Pine needles are more difficult to remove than any other leaves.

But luckily:

This complete guide on how to rake pine needles will make it a super-easy and productive experience for you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, please.

Author: Ibrahim Clouds

Hey! Ibrahim Clouds here. I am a weekend DIYer seriously crazy about home appliance projects/repairs and your go-to guy for great tips/nuggets/answers to all home appliance-related topics. And my job? Other than helping you here on Housechime, I also write Amazon listing copies (largely for home appliance sellers), and work as a ghost PR officer for some SMBs.

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