Homemade leaf collector

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Good for the lawn? Yes, and the earthworms love the food. At worst it does no harm. Been 'mowign in place' for umm...30+ years and the best lawn is where most of the leaves land.
Harry K
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We have a recycling program here also. The city provides 3 oversized rolling carts (one for trash, one for recyclables and one for yard waste) and free paper bags for yard waste. We are also allowed to haul 2 free loads of yard waste to the compost site each month.
They have massive equipment at the composting site. The shredder chews up and mulches 24" log rounds (may even bigger). They literally have mountains of the stuff out there. It is actively managed, turned and aerated as a compost pile should be. A mountain becomes a hill as it breaks down.
The composted material is then given free to the residents a few times per year.
It is claimed that the recycle cost is far cheaper than the landfill fees. The city has to haul the garbage to a certified landfill 3 counties away so there may well be some truth to the statement that it is cheaper. The local dump fee for C&D is $29 per ton and I imagine the certified trash site charges even more.
While I am critical of the government in a lot of places, this one seems to make sense to me.
There is also a local private company that has done quite well running a compost business using the horse stall cleanings.
Colbyt
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On Sun, 23 Oct 2011 11:11:06 -0400, "Colbyt"

Here the town picks up the leaves every Monday for about 6 weeks. Pretty sure they're still using front end loaders and dump trucks. Maybe I'll see them tomorrow. Another reason I don't think they can make money on is it is our yard waste is up to $2.05 per 30 gallon brown bag.
--Vic
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On 10/21/2011 11:37 AM, Vic Smith wrote: ...

Every place is different of course, but the County landfill here is a profit center that actually turns revenue back into the county general fund every year.
They do that by collecting/selling waste-generated methane amongst other forward-looking ventures. The compost and mulch is part of that operation. Don't know it would pay totally independently, but w/ the other business to amortize equipment cost over and the other activities it at least doesn't prevent them from running at a positive margin overall.
--
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Good if they can turn a profit. One thing for sure is I'm glad you just can't burn them like we used to. Don't think my lungs could handle that.
--Vic
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Amen to that!!! I will sometimes mow them a bit damp but in this dry part of the state it doesn't happen often.
Harry K
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Tony Miklos wrote:

You people are bone-heads.
Go and look at a natural, preserved forest area. Something at least 100 acres in size, and has been left in a natural state (no human activity) for at least 80 years. You'll find at least a foot of organic loam on the ground before you hit dirt / soil. You won't find a spec of grass. In that foot of loam is a functioning ecosystem that you won't have in your back yard. An ecosystem that deals with leaf-borne tree fungi in a way that doesn't happen on your urban property.
If you want to imagine the natural state of a functioning ecosystem, that's what you have to compare to. With no more than 10 feet separation between trees.
And even in that situation, you'll find lots of trees in bad shape. Lots of tree stumps and trees that have fallen over, lots of insect and bird dammage to trunks, broken limbs opening up the heartwood to rot.
Bottom line is that sure, don't rake the leaves of your urban back-yard, and your trees will get more black-spot and other diseases regularly. It won't kill the tree, but the tree won't grow as fast or as evenly vs removing those pathogens from it's environment by removing the leaves in the fall.
=========http://gerberink.hubpages.com/hub/Maple-Tree-Problems
Maple Tree Tar Spot
The fungus winters-over on leaves that have dropped to the ground. If the leaves are not raked up in the fall, the spores will reappear in the spring on the old leaves and spread to any nearby tree. Treating the trees is usually not effective since the spores can travel from a neighbor's tree onto your trees.
Anthracnose
Anthracnose is commonly mistaken for tar spot. However, the damage is much more extensive as it affects not only the leaves but the branches as well. The spots on the leaves are many, and are usually much smaller than the 1/8 inch tar spots.
This condition commonly occurs when there are long periods of cold and wet weather. The areas affected may include the dark small spots and irregularly shaped dead and brown areas on leaves. The leaves usually fall off in the early spring, followed by a second set of leaves which will also die off. The branches may develop cankers which can girdle the branches and kill them.
The disease is perpetuated because the fungal spores over-winter in dead leaves. When there is a prolonged wet spring, the spores have a perfect breeding ground. The spores are carried by the wind to other trees. Once infected, the disease can over-winter in the host plant in the infected branches and twigs.
The disease can be controlled by removing dead leaves in the fall from the base of your trees. Fungicide can also be applied, but due to the size and number of trees that may be affected, commercial applications are usually required. You can call your local Cooperative Extension office to find out what fungicides are legal in your state. ========= See also:
========http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/dg6659.html
Horsechestnut/ Ohio buck-eye Aesculus spp. - Leaf blight, Guignardia aesculi - Rake up and destroy infected leaves.
Maple Acer spp. - Anthracnose, Discula species and others - Rake up and destroy or compost fallen leaves.
- Leaf spot, Phyllosticta minima - Rake up and destroy fallen leaves.
- Tar spot, Rhytisma acerinum - Infected leaves can be raked up and destroyed or composted.
Oak Quercus spp. - Anthracnose, Apiognomonia quercinia - Rake and destroy fallen leaves.
Poplar Populus spp. - Shoot blight, Venturia tremulae on Populus sp. and hybrids; V. populina on black cottonwood and balsam poplar - Rake and remove leaves in the fall.
Walnut Juglans spp. - Anthracnose, Gnomonia leptostyla (Marssoniella juglandis) - Rake and destroy fallen leaves and nuts.
Willow Salix spp. - Willow scab/Twig blight, Venturia saliciperda and Glomerella miyabeana - Rake and destroy fallen leaves and twigs prior to spring growth
Crabapple, Ornamental - Frog-eye leaf spot, Botryosphaeria obtusa - Rake up infected leaves. ==================== Any more wise cracks from you bone-heads?
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On 10/20/2011 9:07 AM, Home Guy wrote:

So who want's grass anyway? Way too much maintenance. I do have a little around the house but not much. Just enough to get around without getting muddy. Green pastures just aren't my thing, I like the woods much better.
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I like grass around the house. Woods don't let the house dry out. A quarter acre of grass, around the house, is good. Lush grass is easier to take care of than sparse weeds.
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On 10/20/2011 11:54 AM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

True dat. When I was house shopping, I looked at a couple otherwise nice houses that were fully sheltered by high canopy trees. Picturesque as hell, but they both stunk like cabins do when you first open them up in the spring. Realtor had all the windows open, and fans running, and it didn't even take the edge off the smell. House needs enough sunlight to keep the siding, roof decking, and structure from being damp all the time.
--
aem sends..,


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On 10/20/2011 8:29 PM, aemeijers wrote:

Not to mention the increased cost of homeowners insurance for a house that is under a canopy of trees. I've heard rumors of some insurance companies that are refusing to renew (at any cost) if you have tree branches over your roof.
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On 10/20/2011 8:07 AM, Home Guy wrote:

Yeah. You either don't get it, or you're just being stubborn. Fungal leaf infections are not routine, are almost always not a serious problem, and almost never persist into successive years. Conditions have to be right for them to become an issue, and that's an exception, not the rule.
Fungi are part of nature. Like everything else, they have their cycles. You deal with them when and if they become enough of a problem to require some maintenance. For the average homeowner, that will be seldom to never.
I was in the trade for years. We rarely advised people to treat for fungal issues, _because_ it is almost always an occasional and minor issue. Frankly, in those cases where it is a major issue, _effective_ control is difficult and/or expensive. Examples: oak wilt, dutch elm disease, verticillium wilt, and cytospora canker. You got these, you got yourself a problem that will take some effort and expense to treat, assuming you choose to treat it at all. Raking leaves won't make a tinker's damn of difference with these, either.
To sum up: most of the time, mulching leaves into the turf will be fine. As will grass clippings. As long as the clippings aren't so thick as to form windrows, they'll decompose quickly, and they do not contribute to thatch accumulation, contrary to your assertion.
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HellT wrote:

I get it, and for you it goes right over your head.

A general statement that you simply can't make here.

And I even said that they won't kill a tree.

That's debatable. Certainly depends on geography and climate.

The average home owner is busy cutting down their trees. I see it happening far too often, for trivial reasons.

I'm not talking about treating for fungus after the fact.
And for every 1 owner that actually picks up the phone and calls you about leaf spot, there are 99 others that simply don't pay attention, don't notice or don't care. So don't think that the number of calls you get is indicative of the true prevelance of fungal problems.

Spores not spread via airborne winds. Leaf raking is not an issue with the spread of oak wilt.

Spores spread by bark beetles. Leaf raking is not an issue with the spread of dutch elm disease.

Verticillium is spread mainly in soil via root-to-root contact, but several versions can overwinter in live vegetation or plant debris, and clearing this debris can reduce the spread to other plants. It can survive cold weather and even sub-freezing conditions.

A fungal bark infection, usually in "stoney" fruit trees. Leaves and leaf debris are not vectors for spreading.

The accuracy of your statement is debatible when it comes to verticillium wilt.
But yes, you did list fungal diseases that don't involve leaf litter as a spreading or exposure mechanism.
And I did give you a longer list in my previous post of fungal diseases that ARE combated by leaf raking and removal.
And the best time to combat such fungal diseases is before they become a problem, which means you don't wait until the year you have the fungal disease to start raking and removing the visibly-infected leaves in the fall. You rake the leaves all the time.
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Call it law of averages. Call it survival of the fittest.
Many forests have succumbed to different fungi and diseases over the past several million years, only to have a different species of tree move in and grow into another forest.
It's different when you're trying to keep a *SPECIFIC* tree alive.
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On 10/19/2011 10:17 AM, Home Guy wrote:

There is a State Forest that borders our small community so it looks like we need to organize everyone and go rake it so it will be there in the years to come. It is over 8,000 acres and we only have a population of 600+ so it will be quite a job but obviously well worth the effort!
Don
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On 10/19/2011 5:15 PM, IGot2P wrote:

I think you need to call in the National Guard! Save the forest from the leaves!
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As usual, things are not always black and white. In this case, you are both right.
Due to the dry spring that we had this year, most of the maple trees in our area are suffering from fungus called Tar Spot. I have a huge Maple on my lot and I've been raking leaves since early August. Per the site accessible via the link below "the most effective management strategy is to rake and destroy infected leaves in the fall, thus reducing the amount of overwintering fungi."
http://umaine.edu/homeowner-ipm/2011/09/22/tar-spot-fungus /
Since destroying the leaves on-site is not always possible, the gardening shows on the radio recommend bagging and removing the leaves from the area.
My issue now is that I have so many fewer leaves to stuff my Halloween scarecrows that I might have to go off-site and gather leaves. Typically the maple will begin to lose it's leaves in time from me to use them but the maple is just about empty due to the Tar Spot.
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Exactly. Until I did away with a couple red maples I used my walk behind Honda without the bag. Leaves so deep that on the first pass the mower was sorta tunneling through them. 2-3 passes later the lawn looked like salt/pepper and in a couple days - nothing.
I still have a couple red maples left so it gives me 'seat time' on the rider now.
Besides being much more energy efficient to "mulch in place" they are good for the lawn.
I haven't 'bagged or raked' since late 70s. Harry K
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That's what I do. When I had a mower without a "mulching attachment" I taped a heavy business size envelope over the output chute and it worked just as well. I only need it for about 1 or 2 mows in the late fall. (They've just started to fall this week.)
When I had a half acre I never even considered raking the leaves, so I never have.
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Right, and it is good for the trees. That's the way mother nature does it. (I don't mean with a mower, she just leaves the leaves whole). Bob-tx
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