Pine tree care

Asked April 18, 2016, 9:33 PM EDT

I was told not to rake up the dead pine needles that accumulate under the Blue Spruce Pines as it is better to leave them for some reason. Can you advise? Also should we cut off the bottom limbs that almost drag on the ground or even drag on the ground? Thank you. Wayne Stillman 507 289 8981 2314 Pinestar lane SE Rochester, MN 55904

Olmsted County Minnesota

1 Response

Hi Wayne,
While pine needles make a good mulch under the tree and can help control weeds it is your choice if you wish to rake them. They do not harm the soil or effect the acidity level much.

If this is a large established tree normally on spruce you do not want to trim the tips of the branches. As for trimming the lower branches, if there are some that are mostly void of needles or a driving you crazy on the ground they can be cut back without harming the tree. Cutting the entire branch close to the trunk may be done. It is not recommended that you cut several of the lower branches up the trunk to dramatically change the form of the spruce.

Most evergreens are best pruned before spring growth begins. They can also be pruned in mid-summer, when they are "semi-dormant".