Leaf clean-up

Defeated by leaf drop

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Leafy war zone

Oh, man, I had a lot of fun walking to 7-Eleven for coffee today. I passed a house where the owners totally gave up on leaf clean-up. It looked horrendous but I understand why they would give up. So I smiled and walked by in search of coffee.

I hope holiday visitors came from the back lane.

The London plane trees (Platanus x acerifolia) on the boulevard produce a lot of pollen and it sticks to everything: leaves, bark bits and seed pods. If you hang out long enough with your rake in hand, it’s likely your eyes will soon be watering. The London plane is the only thing in our West Coast landscape that affects me negatively. I don’t suffer from any allergies but this tree makes me cry.

I’m pretty sure the homeowner is responsible for the piles in front of the fence. Leaving it all piled up will also destroy the lawn underneath: that alone would motivate me to take care of the leaves.

Briefly I considered leaving my business card at the door but I live too far away in Port Moody. Clearly the owners are too busy or out of tissues. It’s also possible the residents are renters but I detest that label.

There’s more

This house wasn’t the only leafy place in the neighbourhood. I found a really leafy exit door area that made me shake my head. Take a look.

Very ugly hazard!

I don’t like leaving any exits leafy because people can easily slip on soggy, decomposing leaves. If the landscape contractor is already off then maybe get the caretaker to blow this area. This is an area waiting for an accident to happen. It also looks awful in early January, 2024, meaning that it wasn’t clean for the holidays.

It’s not that bad

Leaf clean up isn’t that bad if you remove the drop in stages. Take one load away and then stop stressing about the new drop. It’s fresh, so enjoy the fall colours and come back another day.

Allowing the leaves to accumulate on your lawn is a mistake because it will turn yellow and die. Then come spring you will extra work to do. Don’t let that happen.

It’s official: people struggle with fall leaf clean up

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YouTube test

This past weekend I shot a short YouTube video about leaf clean up at one of my commercial sites. Cleverly I called the video “Leaf clean-up hack: bury it out of sight temporarily“; and it has become the most-watched video on my humble YouTube channel. Close to six thousand views. Which is funny; and it shows what a pain it is for people to pick up their leaves in the fall. It’s a chore and when West Coast Landscape Pro offers them a “hack”, they jump at it. Here, take a look and continue reading.

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A hack

I have several mature pin oak trees (Quercus palustris) on my commercial site and when they decide to drop, it can be overwhelming. But it’s not my first season: I took advantage of a long laurel hedge and I buried some of the leafiness into it and behind it. Then came Christmas break.

Luckily, the start to our winter has been mild and I was able to go in and fix it. That’s when I shot the video. And to be honest, it was a relief to finally have the pin oak drop under control. Nobody really noticed; nobody complained. Now I can concentrate on other tasks.

Don’t sweat it!

If you hate leaf clean-up, learn to relax. Pick up some leaves every week and enjoy whatever fresh stuff drops. If you’re busy, don’t be shy about hiding it temporarily.

You can also pile it up and shred it with a mower before using it as mulch. Also, last October I learned about collecting leaves in plastic bags and parking them with the tops open. By summer you should have decent compost to spread over your garden beds.

Finally, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the fall. Many tree species are planted for their beautiful fall colors so look up and enjoy the show. If you’re lucky, the wind will blow your drop over to your neighbour’s place.

Poor strategies from experienced workers!?

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Lessons learned?

It’s always better to learn from other people’s mistakes. That’s why I put together an online course which covers other people’s lawn care mistakes. It’s on sale for only $5 until January 1, 2024. Check it out.

This blog post covers two strategic mistakes committed by experienced workers!? How, you ask? I honestly don’t know why experienced workers work like amateurs. But I know that we can learn from their mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new landscaper or homeowner. Use good strategies to get things done efficiently. Every time.

Leaf clean-up

What’s wrong with this picture?

After all, the leafy pile looks tight, doesn’t it? Sure, but it should be blown onto the lawn for several reasons. One, it’s an obstruction. Think visually-impaired passerby with a seeing-eye dog or someone disabled using a motorized wheelchair. Your pile could cause trouble before you get to it. Remember, some disabled people ride around like pirates. They will finger you for making life difficult for them.

Two, it’s easier to rake up leaves on the lawn and, as a bonus, you don’t have to come back later to blow off remnants. You’re saving time and creating less noise and air pollution. If you’re mowing, the mower will suck up any remnants left on the lawn.

Now, I would expect senior landscapers with tons of experience to do better.

Lawn care

When you’re mowing, keep your tarps close by so you don’t have to waste time walking. But please don’t put your tarps on the lawn edge where they’re in the way.

Here you’re asking the line trimmer to stop and move your tarp!?

In the above picture I’m line trimming and I only have two hours to spend on this site. So it’s tight. The last thing I want to do is move tarps out of the way so I can edge the lawns. This is really dumb from another experienced landscaper; the kind of dude who frequently shoves his experience in your face.

Place the tarp near the lawn but not in the way. It’s slowing down the line trimmer for no good reason. It’s not like there is a lot of car traffic inside this complex. Always use the best, most efficient strategies to get your lawn care done. Click the button below to see my online course which covers the biggest lawn care mistakes. Learn from other people’s mistakes. The course is on sale for only $5 until January 1, 2024.