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pine needle bale house

 
marty reed
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well i have seen these houses built out of bales of hay. wail i was doing research on how to bale hay buy hand i found that thay make these tiny balers and thay where useing them to pick up pine needles and bale them. i now of a few places i could get alot of pine needles for free i was thinking that the pine needles could be a great building material and might be less likly to attract rodents im looking for pros and cons of this idea im thinking it will be alot harder to bale up because thay are so small. any ideas it would be very sustainable i would think


here is one of the pine needle baling video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aACdMEP0P80
 
Dale Hodgins
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Judging from the labour intensive nature of this process, I suspect that he has a market for these needles that pays more than would be realized by using them to replace straw.

This clean up might help with fire control but it is bound to affect small creatures who occupy the duff layer and the soil. May also cause greater evaporation. In general the soil would become dryer and brighter and probably warmer. In many soils that grow pine, this would be considdered detrimental.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, I just did some googling and found that 3 cubic foot bales sell for $10 to $20 each. As suspected they are used by landscapers. If other straw is available it is bound to be less expensive. Still' I'm glad I read this since I will soon be searching for land in an area of mostly pines. The news that needles have value is new to me. I'm going to research this to death.
 
Max Kennedy
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In addition to disrupting the soil culture pine needles are quite resinous! resin = FLAMMABLE! Also these bales don't seem to be as tight as straw which also goes towards making them fire resistant. In a word, NO! Not something I'd want to look at as a building material.
 
Dale Hodgins
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For those who live amongst pines, it might be good practice to trim up the branches and clean up the needles in the groves closest to the buildings in order to control fire. Seems like an ideal cash crop. Self harvesting, long shelf life, gather and sell them whenever there is enough time and the weather is dry. Few crops are less demanding. Sell them and buy wheat or rice straw.
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This has led to yet another green business idea. If you live in an area that produces the desired type of pine needles, then you also live in a region where there is always the threat of wild fire during the dry season. A business could be created clearing ground litter in order to stop advancing ground fires. The needles would be a valuable by product.
 
marty reed
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wel i thought it was a good idea. but, i guess not o well thanks for all the information and all
 
Dale Hodgins
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marty reed wrote:wel i thought it was a good idea. but, i guess not o well thanks for all the information and all


Gathering the needles may be a fine idea. It seems likely that pine needles will bring 5-10 times as much money as an equivalent quantity of straw, so all of the building materials could be produced with less labour by selling the needles and buying good straw bales. That's good news.
 
Lloyd George
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Clean pine straw sells well...quite well...it burns even better...and lights like gunpowder...

great mulch for azaleas and blueberries and the like...but a house...the word conflagration rises to the top of my vocabulary...LOL!

Ironically..the baler I posted on the other thread came from plans put out by >You< of Tx extension just for baling pine straw...
 
Robert Ray
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The length of straw strands makes straw bales easy to cut and retie or notch for infill construction. I do see a problem with the pine straw bales being worked as easily as straw bales are. Depending on how tightly packed the bales were, once stuccoed and sealed within a wall the fire danger might not be any greater than that of regular straw.
 
Yone' Ward
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Location: Springdale, WA USA - Cold Mediterranean Climate
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The benefit of straw bale construction is based on low energy & nutrient content per air molecule trapped. Pine, especially lodge pole pine, is designed to burn. Lodge pole is actually dependent on fire. While pine needles are may be cheap (pine tastes nasty), bugs like pine needles and so does fire, because it is energy & nutrient rich.
 
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