Do I need to remove the pine needles from my Deschutes River Woods yard, or can they just stay where they fell? Yard has some lawn, some perennial beds, some natural area. We are new to Bend. Thank you for this service!
Deschutes County Oregon
Hi, Generally speaking it is okay to leave pine needles on the ground, no more than 5 inches in depth. More than 5" will start to cut off oxygen to the root system of the plants. The needles break down slowly and do not significantly change the soil pH as some suggest. They will not make the soil too acidic. However, given that you live in Deschutes River Woods, I believe that this neighborhood participates in a Firewise Community Project (maybe Project Wildfire) and so you may be asked to remove the pine needles to help in creating a defensible space around your home. The Knott Landfill does have a program will they allow homeowners to drop off their yard debris for free (certain days in the year) to help in being firewise. You may want to call them to find out when and check with the neighborhood association about be firewise.
Thanks, Amy Jo