Cyclone Rake Blog: January 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Southern Tree Debris



            Trees bring unbelievable beauty to the southern U.S. Pines, oaks, hickory, black walnut and other hardwoods are prominent native trees of southern forests and landscapes. And baldcypress, sycamore, willow, blackgum and many other distinctive southern trees characterize the coastal lowlands. These southern giants add great beauty to the home landscape, too – and can also create plenty of debris for cleanup in the yard.
            Pine needles and pine cones carpet many southern forests – and picking up pine cones and raking pine straw (needles) are standard cleanup chores in many southern yards. Longleaf pine needles are a main source of pine straw used in landscaping. Prickly pine cones, from pine trees including loblolly pine, pitch pine, sand pine and shortleaf pine, also create ground debris. Other pines – like Eastern white pine and Virginia pine – may not have cones that are as prickly, but still require cleanup of both pine cones and needles.
Sycamore leaf ready to fall. 
            Southern deciduous hardwood trees also drop plenty of debris. Oaks lose leaves and acorns in the fall. Nut hulls and nutshells from other hardwoods, like black walnut and hickory, can remain near trees long into the next summer. Leaves, seeds, twigs, seedpods, and other debris from other southern trees also create plenty of debris: cottonwood, maple, coral bean, locust, mimosa and sycamore. Fruit and berries not snatched up by birds – from trees like hackberry, sugarberry and beautyberry – can also remain in the yard. And some distinctive Southern trees, like catalpa and Kentucky coffee bean, drop unique seedpods needing to be cleaned up annually.
            Southern homeowners are accustomed to the chores required to maintaining the beauty of their yardscapes. These tasks include picking up pine cones; raking pine straw; raking and blowing oak leaves and acorns; and raking and removing twigs, pods and other tree debris, from fall through spring. The Cyclone Rake lawn vacuum, which attaches to a riding lawnmower, is also a possible solution for saving time in caring for southern lawns and landscapes. It can make tree debris cleanup much less time-consuming, giving homeowners in the South more time and energy to tend flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetables – or to simply sit back with a cold drink and enjoy the beauty of southern trees.

Source of tree types:  https://www.auburn.edu/academic/forestry_wildlife/dendrology/dendrology/

Friday, January 6, 2017

Best Practices for Cleaning Up Leaf Debris in the South


Lawns and gardens grow longer in the South, where milder winters may mean more time to clean up leaves and yard debris. Here are some best practices for cleaning up leaves and lawn debris in the South - whether you’re catching up on raking, cleaning up debris from pruning or a winter storm, or just thinning out pine needles from under your trees.
            Large leaf rakes make cleaning up small and mid-sized yards easy. Raking is also a great way to get some winter exercise and enjoy being in the colder season. Many
Brilliantly colored tree in Alabama
homeowners shred small piles of leaves, using a lawnmower or chipper/shredder, to make mulch. Shredding also makes composting leaves easier. Composting is a great practice that can help make your yard neater, and shredded leaves are a useful ingredient for compost, when mixed with other organic wastes in the compost pile or compost bin.
            Large yards with more deciduous trees, as well as yards with mature pines and other evergreens, can see even more leaves and pine needles.
Long Needle Pine Tree in North Carolina 
Rakes and leaf blowers are useful for cleaning up larger yards. A Cyclone Rake leaf vacuum, which attaches to a riding lawnmower, makes cleaning up leaves and pine needles easier and less time-consuming. The Cyclone Rake and its attachments can also be used for year-round yard cleanup chores.
            Homeowners in the South can take a two-step approach when dealing with small tree branches, as well as disease-free shrub clippings and prunings. Branches and prunings can be first gathered into neat piles – or left just out of sight, behind the trees or shrubs where they are pruned. After some time has passed, leaves will fall off or can be easily shaken off, making it easier to move the stems and branches. The leaves can then be tidily raked into mulch around the plants, used as mulch elsewhere, or added to the compost pile. Branches can be shredded or added to a brush pile for birds and wildlife to enjoy the rest of winter.


Reviewed (mentions leaving branches behind pruned plants):