Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The trouble with pines...

As my dotter pointed out, the problem with pines is that we have not one but two seasons of needle fall. This is our month of high winds, cleaning out the Ponderosas and depositing pine needles everywhere -- even as the winds also dry out the forests, leading into our fire season. There is an accumulation of pine needles on roofs...

...and littering imitation Japanese landscapes of carefully placed, rounded river rocks ... which can only be tidied up by those awful leaf blowers. Raking won't hack it; I suppose it could be done by hand, but I don't expect that of many Prescottonians.

My ivy is almost covered by pine needles, tho I have only one big tree compared to my next door neighbors who must have 14 or 15, thus adding greatly to their property value ("in the pines" is one of those real estate code terms).

The neighbors did a bit of raking the other day; here is the result. As for me, I wonder about mulching pine needles and why, in forest speak, it's called "duff", not mulch.

4 comments:

worldphotos2 said...

We have a few small pines that like to keep my busy with the rake. Always something.

Granny J said...

actually, I recall -- I have two pines, but one is a short needle pinon & doesn't cause the needle build-up of the Ponderosas.

JuliaR said...

According to dictionary.com, and you have to scroll down a bit, duff means:

1. organic matter in various stages of decomposition on the floor of the forest.
2. fine, dry coal, esp. anthracite.

[Origin: 1835–45; orig. Scots dial.; perh. metaphorical use of duff, by assoc. with Scots dowf decayed, rotten (see dowf), deaf (of soil) unproductive, springy to the tread]

I love words!

Granny J said...

juliar -- in other words, duff is mulch under a different moniker. However, when the Forest Service guys use the term, they are usually worrying about flammability issues, not returning the organic goodies to the earth...

 
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