Beware of falling Tahoe Pine Cones!
This past fall weekend in Tahoe City we finally got around to doing some of those last minute projects we had put off all summer. Our snow free days are numbered right now, so we got out our to-do list and decided we needed to get the exterior of the old garage and pump house (we have a water well on our property) painted.
While we were working, Craig, my better half, told me to not stand under the pine trees – beware of falling Tahoe pine cones. It was a good reminder. I know better than to be under one of the pine trees in our yard right now, they are loaded with pine cones and the squirrels are doing a great job of dropping them.
At this time of year, many visitors and Tahoe homeowners will be up in our area hunting for pine cones, taking a walk, riding their bike, or just taking it easy. His concern for my safety reminded me, not every visitor, or buyer gets the benefit of our local Tahoe knowledge so here are a few tips if you’ll be up in our area to make your trip more enjoyable.
1.) Pine Sap Removal – In Tahoe you don’t have to be picking up pine cones to get sap on yourself. So remember if you get pine sap on your hands, clothes, or your pet gets it on themselves, use olive oil (any cooking oil will do), or regular mayonnaise (not reduced fat). The oil/mayo will break down the sap on you, your clothes, and on your pet. Just rub the oil/mayo onto the spot and it will break-down and allow you to clean it up. This method is a little more work, but its chemical free! Helpful hint. Using a good, rich lotion on your hands and exposed skin before you go outside will make taking off any sap that much easier.
These tiny white crystals are fresh pine sap. When a pine cone hits the ground, these fine sap crystals will break and spray all over everything in their path.
2.) Awareness – Be aware of your surroundings. The squirrels are busy bringing down pine cones. You may hear them, they sound like squealing birds. Here are some other signs that animals are busy around you.
An unopened pine cone loaded with nuts and sap can weigh several pounds and when it falls it can cause serious physical harm to you if it hits you, so it’s important that you are aware of your surroundings. When any pine cone drops you need to stay clear so listen for the noise of something moving/falling and get away from the trees. Pine cones will bounce, so be prepared to move quickly.
3.) Parking – Don’t park under the pine trees. Now is the time to avoid being under them. A falling pine cone can cause serious damage to your car and pine sap can ruin your paint job. In Tahoe you may not be able to avoid parking under all of the Tahoe pine trees, but if you can avoid it, you should.
4.) Extra Towels -Just in case you, or your pet should get sap on you while you are out enjoying Tahoe, always carry a couple of towels in your vehicle. You’ll minimize how many other things you will get it on by having a towel you can put down on your seats.
5.) Safety – If you don’t have someone to go with you and you’re going to go on a walk, bike, or run by yourself, be sure to let others know what path you’re going to take, and when you should be back. If something should happen while you’re out, others will know where and when they should start to look for you. Safety starts with a plan that you hope to never use!
Have a fun and safe Tahoe outing as you enjoy our fall weather and keep a look out for those falling pine cones.