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posted
I live in the Baltimore Maryland region of the Unites States. I have three large pine trees in my front yard that I am landscaping under.

My question is around what to put under pine trees. Every fall I get a few inches if pine needles that fall. If I did some basic shrubs and stuff, should I put mulch under the pine trees or something else? Can pine needs just be tilled back into the soil ever year?

Happy for any recommendations that can be provided.

Thanks.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: Apr 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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J J, it comes down to what kind of sun exposure does the plants receive under the pine tree.
I suggest you read about pH....and what effects it has on plants. There is a long explanation of what pH is....but think of it as the acidity level that soils build up and affects plants that are either acid loving, or alkaline loving.
Evergreens --all...are acid loving...and their needles, ergo, have a certain degree of acidity which affects the soil. Plants growing in such environment then use the pH to either do good....or not so good.
You could keep that in mind for what plants you intend to grow under the tree....and elsewhere.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You've got to take into consideration not only your acidic soil, but also your winter weather.

In the acidic soil here with our pine trees, azaleas and camellias do well. I just don't know how they would do that far north.
 
Posts: 16455 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are some that seem to think that pine trees create acidic soils and that the pine needles contribute to that, but good, solid research has shown that is not true. While pine trees do prefer acidic soils they are not the cause of that type of soil. The acidity level does not "build up" in soils but soils become acidic because of a loss of Calcium Carbonate, lime. Pine needles can be a good source of organic matter for soils.
What to plant under those pine trees depends on where in the world you are (climate) and how much light or shade is there, since all plants need some light to grow well, and what kind of soil you have there.
Contact your local office of your University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service about having a good, reliable soil test done as well as some plant suggestions. They have done extensive research into what grows best where you are and the conditions you have. They even have test gardens you can visit to see what will grow best.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8111 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Been there, done that with zero results. We tried in both Alabama, Louisiana, and here in Illinois to find that "perfect" plant under the pine trees. What thrives one year, dries up the next.
So stand across the street, eye your trees and yard and decide if it under the tree you want something, or alongside the yard. The trees themselves might benefit from a good trimming or spotlights at night.
Good luck.


www.pinterest.com/patv82

personallybypat.tumblr.com
 
Posts: 415 | Location: Aurora, Illinois | Registered: Jan 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As a rule when plants fail to thrive anywhere, not just under pines, it is because the gardener has failed to provide the environment the plant needs to grow. I have had Columbine self seed under some Austrian Pines as well as Red Pines. I have had Rosa Rugosa self seed under Red and White Pines. I have many woodland plants growing under pines, Jack in the pulpit, Tryllium, etc.. but only because I looked at the soil and made amendments to make that soil into something those plants would like.
Soil is the most important part of a garden, pay attention to your soil and you can do amazing things.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8111 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Down here in the south, many, many azaleas are planted under pine trees. The trees give them the needed shade and they thrive there.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4299 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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KimmSr, You got it in one! Gardening is an ongoing project. But when I forget what needs what each year, something fails. My preferred method is TLN - Tender Loving Neglect.


www.pinterest.com/patv82

personallybypat.tumblr.com
 
Posts: 415 | Location: Aurora, Illinois | Registered: Jan 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Talk with a landscaper and/or a nurseryperson.

I've never seen anything planted under pines.

You might clear beyond the needle edge and plant there.

As other indicated: sun, shade, moisture, N/S/E/W expsosure--all must be considered.

You must consider the water needed for what you want to plant: azaleas and rhodendrons like water; pines do not. So how many of what you plant and their needs have to be thought out first.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: M-ma,
 
Posts: 5900 | Location: western PA | Registered: Sep 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here are some images for those that have never seen flowering plants growing under pines.
http://www.google.com/search?q...sAQ&biw=1920&bih=971


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8111 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is that what this homeowner has, Kimm?
My understanding is a few tall pines. To me that means blue spruce, white pine, red cedar, hemlock, perhaps planted close or in a cluster or in a row. I don't picture Amen Corner at Augusta.
Perhaps the home owner could clarify for us.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: M-ma,
 
Posts: 5900 | Location: western PA | Registered: Sep 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a very large pine in my backyard that sheds long needles everywhere each year. I have planted underneath the tree, but my problem has been clearing out the needles from on top of whatever was planted underneath, it always looked very messy. I have finally given up and have left it empty.
 
Posts: 2770 | Location: Cuddled up in my pretty purple house! | Registered: Jul 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by headielamar:
I have a very large pine in my backyard that sheds long needles everywhere each year. I have planted underneath the tree, but my problem has been clearing out the needles from on top of whatever was planted underneath, it always looked very messy. I have finally given up and have left it empty.


We use those very long pine needles down here as mulch! Nothing "messy" about them, they are natural!
Nearly every yard in the south has azaleas under pine trees. We all have different kinds of pines. Hostas also do well under all kinds of pine trees...I've seen many planted that way too! There are many other "shade" plants that will grow under trees, including the columbines that Kimm mentioned. In fact, we have a native columbine down here that does great among the trees...no matter what kind of tree.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4299 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Whenever this question comes up I think back to when "The Masters" Golf Tournament was played and the TV camera panned the 13th hole at Augusta National.....
Pine trees galore....with gorgeous color underneath....and if I'm not mistaken they're
azalea
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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At my previous house (in MA) I had 3 large white pines in an area of my front yard. They created a circle about 25' in diameter underneath where no grass would grow. I planted Azaleas, Rhododenrons and Mountain Laurel for flowering plants. I put Hosta all around the perimeter and added daylilies in between the shrubs.

I just mulched the pine needles right back into the area every year. In the fall I added some additional mulched leaves from the oaks as well.

They all seemed pretty happy and grew well together.
 
Posts: 46 | Location: United States | Registered: Apr 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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