Landowners growing pine trees to sell for timber may not realize they have an annual cash crop when the trees shed their needles every autumn. Pine needles, sometimes called pine straw, are sold to landscapers, garden centers and nurseries for use as mulch. Pine straw mulch remains loose and allows air and water to infiltrate the ground below, unlike firmer mulches that tend to crust over. Pine straw is a popular mulch in the southern United States.
Contact your county extension office to find pine straw producers in your area. Call several and ask their current price. Also ask if they will rake and bale the pine straw for you or if you should deliver it to them raked.
Wait for the pine needles to fall.
If you must rake the needles yourself, use a standard garden rake. Avoid using a rake with metal prongs because they are more likely to damage the soft earth beneath the needles.
Shovel the pine straw into a wheelbarrow or large yard waste bag. If you have access to a truck, cart the pine straw to the truck and dump it out.
Drive to the pine straw producer you've chosen. He will weigh your pine straw, pay you, bale the straw and sell it.