Learn about an effective and beneficial alternative to bagging your leaves.
Wow! 24 homeowners showed up on this gray and drizzly day for our first Greenburgh neighborhood leaf-mulching demonstration on Longview Drive in Edgemont. Thank you so much for joining us!
We hope the demo was helpful to you in finding the best way to handle leaves on your property. Our discussion was really excellent, thanks to all your questions and to so many of you sharing your own valuable knowledge and experience: There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to keeping your leaves on your property. Each property is unique and there are many different things we can do to keep at least a good portion of our leaves on our own properties, thereby reducing the tremendous costs and problems associated with municipal removal and carting.
Here are some notes from the questions you all brought up---in case any of you missed parts of the discussion.
-- Question: What to do on a property with lots of big oak trees?
To some extent, finding ways to re-incorporate your leaves into your landscape somewhere on your property is a creative challenge unique to each property. But the LELE website offers some ideas to work with, like using extra mulch on garden beds, in border beds and ground cover areas (e.g., pachysandra will take in a lot of chopped leaves), or around trees as root-protecting "tree circles." The homeowner who asked the question said all she could figure to do is shred the leaves she can't mulch mow with a stand-up shredder and use the shreds in her gardens and compost. Another woman said she has an area with several large trees and she just leaves the leaves whole under the trees.
-- Question: What to do about pine needles?
We discussed pine needles being good for acid loving plants like blueberries, mountain laurel, rhododendrum, and that pine needles are very attractive left around the tree itself as they make a colorful fragrant bed.
-- Question: What to do about pine cones and acorns?
Positives about pine cones and acorns is that they can produce new trees and are important food for local wildlife. On the other hand, depending on your property design, too many can pose a tripping hazard. Some years oak trees produce huge amounts of acorns ("masting years") while in other years none at all. We discussed that maybe the property owner needs to decide each year where on the property to keep some of the pine cones and acorns and how much they feel they need to bag and put out with yard waste.
-- Question: What will the Town do with the leaves from street trees in public areas?
We don't currently have an answer to that! We know the Parks Dep't committed to on-site mulching wherever possible on Town Property. I will follow-up with the Parks Dep't and the DPW to find out what they will be doing if leaf piles end up on the streets.