Mesquite bean/pod cleanup - tips or tricks?

bobscitrus(9A)July 4, 2014

Yup - it's that time of year again. Any tips or tricks to make this back-breaking, tedious chore of cleaning up mesquite pods on top of landscape gravel any easier or more efficient?

At my previous house all my mesquites were over bare dirt - rake and you're done. I now have one very prolific Argentine/hybrid with gigantic thorns that is extremely messy in my new front yard. I will remove it eventually, but for now...clean up is needed.

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Ah, the memories. I'm SO glad our messy Argentine hybrid blew over a few years ago.

As soon as our tree started dropping pods in late June, I'd go out every morning with a 5-gallon bucket and pick them up.

It sounds horribly tedious, but in reality it was maybe 5 minutes every morning, max - I made it my morning stretch-the-hamstrings routine. I kinda looked forward to it. The important thing is to do it EVERY day, otherwise it's like looking at a giant sinkful of dishes and not wanting to even start.

BTW, our tree was about 30' high and maybe 35-40' wide, so lots of pods. But that was nothing compared to the pollen, flowers, and especially those tiny leaves that ended up everywhere (including my underwear!)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 5:11PM
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I just finished that chore (for the time being) yesterday morning...also have landscape rock under my mesquites. I try to rake up what I can into small piles with a lightweight grass rake, but usually end up picking up most by hand. I try to think of it as exercise too. Someone suggested a very large plastic tarp, and you could pick it up after all the beans were off the tree...sounds good, but not too practical.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 11:08PM
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mingtea(z9 Tucson)

My dog eats the tasty native pods, but that is a different sort of cleanup....


    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 11:30PM
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Ah, the joys of a "natural" landscape. We leave them for the birds to peck open, and only sweep them off the sidewalk.

A metal-tined leaf rake can usually collect them and not collect too many rocks. then you can take the pods off the pile and rake the rocks back into place.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 5:56AM
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Is that the tree that's creating all that yellow debris? My wife and I were just talking yesterday how messy all the trees are that they recommend for planting here. Our Texas ebony is currently in its second or maybe third bloom phase this year, Those fuzz balls cover the ground like snow. We removed a huge Jacaranda this year because of the continual year around mess. Makes me yearn for the male Mulbery we left at our old home in central Phoenix, Can't buy them here anymore.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:55PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Yup, I have the same problem every year. My hybrid mesquite, which came with this house, is enormous, truly enormous, and makes a huge mess in the front garden. I do what most folks mentioned: use a weak-tined grass/leaf rake and rake the pods up (I have rock mulch) without collecting TOO many rocks, then hand pick the rest. I sweep the sidewalk, and the street, several times a week too. Luckily it's over quickly, just 14-21 days or so.

It IS annoying though, hah. If I could snap my fingers and make my tree disappear without blowing over, hah, I would.

Happy gardening all!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:07PM
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dogpeach(Arizona 9-10)

We had one at our old house and I faithfully went out every morning like Juttah did and cleaned them up. Half over 3/4" rock, half over lawn. Rake the lawn, hand pick on the rock.

One morning while sitting at my kitchen table drinking coffee, looking over the backyard and thinking about that tedious chore, a coyote leaped over the metal fence into my yard from the golf course and proceeded to eat those pods! I was stunned! I left him in peace to enjoy his breakfast.

My neighbor at my newer home has one that covers half the street and it is a mess driving through the pods everyday. I think he either isn't going to clean them up or wait til they are done dropping.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:37AM
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To all the whiners, please feel free to leave the state anytime you like and never darken our lands again. No serious, just go!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 3:58PM
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We also have Mesquite trees in our yard, you know what? I'll take beans/pods any day instead of flowers from Desert Museum Palo Verde trees.

Yes, they are fast growing trees, they are easy care and disease free, they are beautiful, but boy they bloom 3-4 times per year, produce millions yellow orchid like flowers that are everywhere and anywhere including in the swimming pool.

When we write Christmas check for our yard guy, just the thought of cleaning these flowers will make us feeling generous.

Is there any way to make these trees stop flowering?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:02AM
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AZ-Mom To make the Palo Verdes stop flowering, apply a chain saw to the base of the tree.

Water them less ... WAY LESS ... and you can reduce the flowering by a bit.

They were not meant to be planted in lawns or near swimming pools, so go find the landscaper who did it. In a desert landscape they are awesome. But messy.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:02AM
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@ Fascist_Nation ... who took a whiz in YOUR cornflakes?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:05AM
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lazygadrens, you go girl! I was thinking of something similar. But chose to ignore as did others. If you can't help, keep quiet. Snotty posts aren't what we're about here. I know you've been around for a long time, as have I. Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:42AM
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