How to Pick Up Sticks in Yard Fast

If you have trees, sticks, and branches find their way into your yard and must be dealt with.

Most of the time, we only need to rake or mow up leaves, pine needles, pine cones, and other small lawn debris, but occasionally a storm or other circumstances can bring branches tumbling down. 

An occasional stick or two in a small yard can be picked up and disposed of quite quickly, but on an acre of lawn or yards without flat lawns, it can become very tedious.

Figuring out if it all needs to be done by hand or if there is a rake for lawn mower attachments can help save you time year after year. What is the fastest way to pick up yard sticks?

Fastest Ways to Pick Up Yard Sticks

The size of sticks and branches makes a big difference in what works to collect them. In general, for smaller yards grabbing a standard rake and quickly raking all the larger branches and lawn debris into a pile will always be the fastest.  Larger yards with smaller branches but larger amounts of lawn debris will benefit from mowers and blowers.

Check out the methods below to see what works best to clean yard waste on your lawn.

Leaf BlowerMoves and gets sticks unstuck
Hand RakeQuickly moves sticks to neat piles
GrabberHelps with reaching
Lawn Tractor Mow OverCollects debris and chops them up
Lawn SweeperMoves and collects large amounts of debris

Leaf Blower

Pine needles, grass clippings, and small twigs and branches can be moved across a lawn with a leaf blower. Branches that have become stuck in the yard turf and scattered with large amounts of lawn debris can be dislodged with a leaf blower. Some models can reverse the air intake and work as a lawn vacuum, trapping sticks and leaves in bags for yard waste. Leaf blowers will not move big sticks, and the branches will still have to be piled up and discarded.

Hand Rake

Rakes for sticks can help you grab and move larger debris. The thin metal tines on lawn rakes can break, but the larger rakes for sticks can pick up sticks & branch debris. Lawn rakes can quickly move sticks to one side of the yard, where they can be collected over time or allowed to break down. Pine cones, leaves, grass clippings, and thatch in the yard turf can also be collected while raking for sticks. All of these are great compost additions.


If you have a small yard and only a few sticks, a grabber can help you out. These simple grabbing extensions for our arm can reach down and grab sticks without us needing to bend over. It makes a friendly yard tool for the elderly and mobility-limited individuals that have yards to maintain. Grabbing sticks with this tool prevents you from needing to get your hands wet or dirty if the branch is in the mud. This comes in handy if you are clearing a stick or two out of the yard on your way out the door. 

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  • EXTRA STRENGTH GRIPPER: Extra strenght metal bar that will hold over time; Textured rubberized ends…
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  • EXTRA STRENGTH GRIPPER: Extra strength metal bar that will hold over time; Textured rubberized ends…
  • EXTRA STRENGTH GRIPPER – Textured rubberized ends allow for easy grip of hard to grip items

Mow Over

For autumn leaves and small twigs, mowing over is usually a simple solution. Clearing fall leaves is a great way to collect dead leaves and leaf litter for the compost. Use a leaf rake to get any that have fallen in flower beds. After you mow over the leaves, you can leave them as mulch leaves for bees and other wintering insects before adding them to the compost in the spring.

Lawn Sweeper

If you want to get through a large lawn in time, you can use a lawn sweeper. This and other lawn mower rakes can collect leaves, twigs, small sticks, and dead yard turf in no time. This can be used as a lawn mowing tool to prepare a larger yard for mowing after a storm or other large branch-dropping events. The Agri-Fab lawn sweeper and Brinly STS-427LXH lawn sweeper are two machines that can help you out. 

Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper, 44-Inch Orange
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Brinly STS-427LXH-A 42″ Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper with Universal Hitch
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Why You Need to Pick Up Lawn Sticks

A few sticks and branches sitting on a lawn don’t seem to be menacing until they get crushed by the mower. Our lawn care products only work if we care for them, and mowing over a large branch damages our mowers. Lawn mowers are tough, but wood is strong, too, and branches can quickly dull our mower blades. Dull blades leave bad cuts on our grass that can lead to other lawn issues.

Picking up sticks that are too big for a mower and moving them before continuing is an important mower maintenance protocol. A chunk of sticks can get stuck and seize up the engine causing complete mower failure. This can happen to push and ride mowers and cost tons of money to repair. Rake for sticks before mowing to avoid a chance stick injury from flying branches as well. 

Sticks laying all over your yard can also impact healthy grass growth. Any object that rests on your turf for too long is going to start leaving marks and have the grass looking pale. Remove sticks shortly after they fall to avoid dead patches of grass and other lawn and pest issues.

Uses for Yard Sticks

Sticks in Yard

While smaller, more acceptable tree waste can be picked up by a mower or yard waste bag, medium to larger sticks and branches need to be disposed of. Most cities offer green bin collections, including sticks and yard waste. If you have a lot of branches, it may take several months to dispose of everything in your yard this way.

Sticks and branches can always be returned to the soil in compost. It will take a while to break down, but eventually, you will have finished soil for your compost. If you have a wood chipper, you can mulch and compost faster than just throwing the branches in the pile. Mulching wood chips for one season and then composting the following is a good way to utilize branches twice.

If you have an outdoor fire or want to do some natural wood cooking, then sticks and branches in your yard are a free fuel source. Burning the wood in your yard for heating and cooking is a great way to take advantage of all the sticks that fall every year. Make sure to follow local fire guidelines before burning sticks in your backyard. You can dispose of the ash in the compost, gardens, or greens bin. 

Last update on 2024-05-30 / Affiliate links / Somes Images and Data from Amazon Product Advertising API