What’s the Best Way to Pick up Pine Needles?

Pine trees are a great addition to your yard or garden. They provide excellent shade, help combat soil erosion, provide privacy, and produce a lovely aroma. Not only that, but they also had a beautiful green touch to the landscape all year round. 

Even though pines are evergreens, that doesn’t mean that they don’t ever shed their needles. Pine trees shed some of their needles periodically as new ones take their place. This process is no cause for concern, but it can be a headache trying to collect all those stubborn needles.

Because they are so thin, ordinary rakes and tools won’t work. Luckily, some things actually do, so let’s look at the five best ways to pick up pine needles!

Ways to Pick up Pine Needles

Each of the options below is ideal for different types of yards. Whether you have a huge space or a tiny backyard, one of the following choices is sure to work for you.

1. Expanding Metal Rake

While regular rakes are stiff and large, this innovative garden leaf rake is a great option for tight areas under plants and trees. The long, 63-inch handle lets you stretch to reach any low, hidden place. Plus, it has a ¾-inch zinc coating that combats rust, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving it outside. 

The head of the rake has 15 flat tines, which you can adjust. For tight areas and pesky pine needles, you can narrow the width to only seven inches. If you want to do regular raking, the full width is 22 inches. 

The rake’s changing size can make storage easy, but it also makes it slightly more fragile than other options. Make sure you don’t use it on rocks or other materials that could harm the rake. Otherwise, this is a great, versatile rake for picking up pine needles. 


  1. The width of the rake changes sizes for hard-to-reach areas and easy storage
  2. Zinc-coated handle
  3. Sturdy, narrow tines


  1. It is not for raking hard objects like rocks

2. Titan Pine Straw Needle Rake

For those of you with a large yard, fields, or farms, you’ll need something a bit more heavy-duty to rake up all the fallen pine needles. This heavy-duty rake attaches to your compact tractor for a complete cleaning of your fields.

The rake is 5 feet across and has replaceable coiled tines. Use the 3-point attachment to hook it up to your category one tractor, and run it through your fields. 

Unlike other products on our list, this rake is specifically for pine needles. It will still work with leaves, sticks, and dead grass, but the priority is pine needles. The only downside is that not everyone has a tractor to use this rake.


  1. The design is primarily for pine needles
  2. 5-foot rake width
  3. Replaceable coiled tines


  1. The rake is a tractor attachment, so people with smaller yards cannot use it

3. Agri-Fab Lawn Sweeper

Instead of using a rake, a popular method of picking up pine needles with a lawn sweeper. This Agri-Fab model attaches to your tractor and collects everything from sticks to needles.

The sweeper is almost 4 feet across, and the hopper holds up to 25 cubic feet of debris. This large capacity sweeper will save you time and energy by doing the heavy work for you and quickly cleaning large yards. 

Even though the sweeper isn’t mainly for pine needles, it can be used all year round for various purposes. With such a wide range of capabilities and four rotating bushes, the sweeper can easily pick up pesky pine needles.


  1. The four rotating brushes can pick up any debris
  2. 25 cubic feet of space in the hopper
  3. Universal hitch to attach to your tractor


  1. The design is not specifically for pine needles

4. Black+Decker 3-in-1 Blower, Vacuum, and Mulcher

You don’t necessarily need a fancy new tool to pick up pine needles. Sometimes all you need is a trusty leaf blower to do the trick.

This particular Black+Decker model is a combination of an electric blower, vacuum, and mulcher. Whether you want to blow needles off rocks, suck them up from under trees, or break them down into mulch while cleaning, this product can do it all. 

It has a 12 amp motor, and the mulcher can turn 16 bags of debris into one. When using the pine needle vacuum feature, attached the EZ-empty reusable leaf bag for easy disposal. You can also easily switch between the blowing and vacuuming settings and change the speeds for different areas of your yard.


  1. Includes a pine needle grinder, blower, and vacuum
  2. You can grind down the pine needles while you collect them
  3. The reusable bag holds 1.5 bushels


  1. It is a bit heavy to hold, weighing over eight pounds

5. Earthwise Push Lawn Sweeper

If you like the idea of a sweeper but don’t have a tractor to attach one, Earthwise has just the product for you. This push lawn sweeper is lightweight and easy to maneuver around your yard. 

The brushes are 21 inches across and mimic the sweeping motion of a rake for useful debris collection. Since it is not for heavy objects, like nuts and rocks, the sweepers will quickly pick up pine needles.  

You can sweep up needles on any surface with adjustable height control, like lawns, sidewalks, and patios. The collection bag in the back holds up to 2.6 bushels, and you can quickly remove it for easy disposal. 


  1. 21-inch sweeper
  2. Adjustable height for various terrains
  3. Large holding bag for collecting debris


  1. It cannot pick up heavy items

Related: Picking Up Loose Grass Clippings

Frequently Asked Questions about Picking up Pine Needles

There aren’t very many products specifically for picking up pine needles. Most products are for general lawn care and let the skinny needles slip through the cracks. As such, it can be challenging to find a product that genuinely works with pine needles.

As you continue your search for the best tool to pick up pine needles, keep the following information in mind. 

Do you need to pick up pine needles?

Yes, you do need to pick up pine needles. While other types of leaves decompose quickly, pine needles take a much longer time. Now, they wouldn’t be a problem on the forest floor, but in your garden or yard, they can harm other plants and flowers. 

Even if the needles fall only on grass, their acid can turn your yard an ugly brown color. While they give off a pleasant fragrance, the pine needles can be a great nuisance to the rest of your plants. 

By picking up the pine needles, you ensure a beautiful, safe, and healthy lawn. Plus, once you collect them, you can use them as a great form of mulch. However, make sure they decompose somewhat before putting them around your plants. 

What will pick up pine needles?

Several tools will pick up pine needles. The most common options are rakes, sweepers, and vacuums. The most efficient method depends on the terrain of your yard and what other tools you have available. 

For example, two of the above options (the Titan rake and the Agri-Fab sweeper) attach to tractors. If you don’t have a tractor, these tools won’t work for you, and you’ll have to choose between more manual options like the expandable rake or a push sweeper.

If the areas where the pine needles collect are tight and out of reach, make sure to choose a tool that can access those areas, like the expandable rake. In more open spaces, most of the other options will work well.

Will a yard sweeper pick up pine needles?

Yes, a yard sweeper will pick up pine needles. Since the needles are small and lightweight, most yard sweepers will be able to collect them. Of course, the more heavy-duty options have more power and are more likely to pick up everything from rocks to needles. 

From our list above, the Earthwise and Agri-Fab lawn sweepers are great options for picking up needles. 

How to clean pine needles from rocks?

There are a couple of things you can do if you have pine needles around rocks. One option is using a blower to move the needles from the stones to another area. Then, use a rack or sweeper to collect them.

Another method is to use a pine needle vacuum like the Black+Decker to suck up the needles between the rocks.

What to do with pine needles after they’ve been collected? 

There are so many things you can do with pine needles besides just throwing them away. One of the primary uses for these needles is mulch. Now, you may be thinking, how can pine needles become mulch if they harm plants?

Well, you create the mulch from dried pine needles or those that have already slightly decomposed. This dry layer helps keep moisture in the soil and protect the plants from weeds. 

You can also use the dried needs to line pathways or sides of your yard for a unique touch. You can also use dried needles for bonfires, meat seasoning on the grill, and air freshener. As long as you haven’t treated the pine trees with chemicals, you can put the needles in teas and kinds of vinegar. The options are endless! 

Are there pine needle removal services?

Yes, there are pine needle removal services. Check with your local landscaping companies to see which ones offer this specific service and compare their prices. 

Since pine needles fall regularly, you may need the service a couple of times a year. It may be cheaper to invest in a tool like the rakes or vacuums above if you can do the removal yourself. 

Either way, compare the prices and consider your availability throughout the year to decide whether a landscaping service would be the best choice for you.

Two pictures of pine branches. Text in-between that reads what's the best way to pick up pin needles?

Start Picking up Pine Needles

Even though pine needles provide a lovely fragrance, they can harm your yard and garden and give it all a disorganized look. If you’ve tried to pick them up on your own, you’ll know that regular rakes don’t work, and they can be sharp on your bare hands. 

Instead of struggling with the needles, try one of the five great options above to pick up pine needles effortlessly and efficiently. 

Our top pick is the expandable rake, thanks to its versatility and ease of use. There is no need to have a tractor or other lawn care items to use this rake. Plus, it is easy to store and takes up minimal space in your shed or garage. 

However, if you have a more massive yard, one of the other heavy-duty items may be best for your area. Either way, you’re sure to find a product that will help you get rid of those pine needles and get your yard back to pristine condition.

Related: Top Ways to Pick Up Acorns