attention please: pine needles do not acidify the soil

I've read this folk tale several times in the past few weeks. Composted pine needles are almost neutral in pH. Thank you, that is all.
Dave
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On Sun, 04 Apr 2004 19:06:51 GMT, "David J Bockman"

Umm who would compost them first? How about ones picked up off the forest floor, or under your own trees, and plunked down in the blueberry patch?
I've seen many references to Oak leaves, and how you shouldn't use them in your compost bins as it makes the compost too acid. I thought GREAT when I saw that, and thought where I could find some oak leaves as I'm WEST of the rockies in the alkaline ground and water world!
I figure pretty much anything that's acid would make good mulch in the blueberry patch! ;-) Well, not anything, some things would have to be laced with nitrogen to keep it from robbing it from the soil as it decomposed.
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wrote:

pine
Properly composted ANYTHING will result in a product that has nearly neutral pH and you would need an awful lot of uncomposted material like pine needles to significantly alter soil pH. At the most, uncomposted pine needles or other acidic debris will slightly modify surface pH, but not substantially. Oak leaves are perfectly suitable to add to compost - they just tend to take longer to breakdown due to the amount of tannins they contain. But unless they are the primary ingredient in your compost, once that process has been completed, you should still have a nearly neutral product.
pam - gardengal
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neutral
needles
substantially.
take
been
For what it's worth, I have a chipper-shredder and shred huge quantities of oak leaves every fall. I don't incorporate them into a compost pile but keep them in covered bins so they don't get wet and use them as mulch the following spring. It works great around peonies and other flowers, peppers, onions, corn, etc., and has the advantage of being easy to place around small plants. A 2-3 inch layer keeps down weeds and keeps in moisture just as well as wood mulch and doesn't have the weed seeds found in straw or hay. It forms a layer that is dry on top and crusty on the bottom.
The best part is that it can be worked into the soil in the fall as humus.
John
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