Title - Leaf mulchers -- worth using?

Hello all -
I've got several trees (maple and apple) in my back yard that produce piles of leaves in autumn. In previous years I bagged them and carried them to the front of the property for collection, but I'm getting on in years, that's a lot of work!
I came upon these gadgets: http://tinyurl.com/pm4hmrf http://tinyurl.com/nowgocy
The price isn't too high, I was wondering if I could just grind/mulch the leaves. I have a good-sized hole in the yard where a weeping willow once stood (fell over 30 years ago, pieces long since removed), and I could fill that hole up with the mulch and let it sit all winter.
Are these leaf mulchers useful, or ....?
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On 10/25/13 12:41 pm, John Albert wrote:

I have no idea about leaf mulchers. I run the mower over the fallen leaves, and the resulting shreds fertilize the lawn.
Perce
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On 10/25/2013 12:54 PM, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Plant some rhododendrons and azaleas, then just blow the leaves under the shrubs for mulch.
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Per Percival P. Cassidy:

+1
Started doing that about five years ago. I go in a circle, exhausting the leaves towards the center so they are shredded and re-shredded. Once I'm done, I'll disperse whatever is left with a few more passes of the mower; but, surprisingly, very little is left even though one would expect all the leaves to be concentrated.
Volume of leaves might be an issue. I tried selling the idea to my son-in-law. He tried it, but there were just too many - and oak predominated. Oak leaves are a lot harder for the mower to shred than maple.
Sharpening the blades helps the shredding process.
Having the mower housing as low as possible (while maintaining blade height as high as possible) helps with blowback of shredded leaves.
--
Pete Cresswell

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John Albert wrote:

Hi, I use yard vac. which does that. It reduces the volume a lot when bagging the stuff compared to leaves as is. As a matter of fact today collection truck took all the bags I left out this morning. If leaves are not dry enough it does not work well.
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I fenced off a small area of the yard and dump my leaves there, they naturally compost, and I add the rich compost to plantings each spring...
requires the least work all around, and the mulch is great.
I only add outdoor debris to the pile, no kitchen scraps so I dont attract rodents....
the fence keeps the stuff from blowing around
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On 10/25/2013 11:41 AM, John Albert wrote:

That looks like as much or more work than just raking to me...
As other(s?) have mentioned, I use bagger on the rider to just pick 'em up. That chops them significantly in volume compared to whole so even if have to bag (we've got large dumpster on farm so just empty into it which is simple) they take many fewer and are easier handling.
Depending on just the size of the lawn perhaps a mulching kit on the mower will shred them enough -- one says can get away with that but...in VA where we were there were simply too many from a large number of oaks that couldn't get rid of them that way w/o smothering grass--just too much volume that would leave inches deep covering if didn't remove.
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I've had a sears model I've used for maybe 20 years. Actually just an inverted string trimmer. They don't work well on green, stringy or wet leaves. On dry crunchy leaves they reduce\compact the volume by 1\2 to 3\4 of original. The back half of my yard abuts a wetland and in not developed. I much the leaves from the rest of the landscaped part of the yard and spread them in the back. Mulching them speeds the decomposition greatly. I used this item mostly at my previous home where everything needed to be bagged. It greatly reduced the amount of bagging necessary. I buy a spool of the correct size line and cut my own to length....much cheaper than pre-cut line.
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I have a DR pull behind leaf collector. It mulches the leaves about 12:1 I think. I have about 35 trees in my yard, so raking or bagging is out of the question. I pile them in the back yard against the fence. For the past 5 years I have been piling them in the same spot and turning the pile a couple times a year. The pile is just now turning into a substance that looks like topsoil.
R
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That's not going to work with damp leaves. I got two stihl gas blowers. One has the vacuum with blade. The blade is not so great, but helps a bit. I got to using both blowers to blow leaves around. At camp the leaves will get to a mushy mess if left around in the rain, which happens since I can't get there often. I still get results with two blowers, but I ran out of gas last week. At home I often gather them on the side of the house. Used to haul them down the property in a pile. The pile goes down to almost nothing over winter. I quit doing that, and just blow them out back over the hill. What works best for me, is when the wind distributes the leaves all over the neighborhood and I do nothing.
Greg
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On Friday, October 25, 2013 9:41:30 AM UTC-7, John Albert wrote:

I put a mulching plug on the rider mower and just mow them. 2-3 passes and the lawn has a 'pepper/salt' look, Few hours or a day later their isn't a sign of leaves ever having been there.
Until I got rid of one Red maple (still have 2) I was using that method with leaves in drifts higher than the mower deck. Using a mulcher and disposing of the debris just adds extra work and removes valuable nutrients that benefit the lawn soil.
Harry K
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