I own a large, glorious Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana) that overhangs my driveway, the driveway of my neighbour and the public footpath. It's a female tree, roughly 50 feet high perhaps and we think it may be around 70-80 years old.
In recent years it has increased its habit of dropping thousands of seeds (every day) during the hottest days of summer. It's getting so bad that the sharp, pointed seeds are posing a danger to car tyres and pedestrians' feet, so I'm having to go out with a broom and a snow shovel to sweep up these evil things multiple times a day!
The tree is surrounded by concrete, gravel and grass, which I'd like to ideally keep clear of the seeds. I've tried to pick these things up with an old, cheap garden vacuum, but that is even harder than sweeping them.
They get blown into the roadside gutter which poses a risk for local residents parking at the front of the houses, and also might eventually cause the drains to clog up. It's my tree so I am on the hook for any repair bills from the public or the local council maintenance dept.
Can anyone recommend a method for picking up these things quickly and easily? I'm thinking that someone that has to maintain a large estate with dozens of these trees probably has some clever ideas I've not thought of. Is there some kind of gadget designed for picking up things like this without also picking up gravel?
p.s. I normally separate out the viable seeds from the dead ones and give the good ones away for other people to grow in their gardens. It's an endangered species and I'd like to help it out as much as I can.