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Leave the Leaves

Weston has over 2000 acres of Conservation Land. If you happen to be a neighbor, congratulations, you are very lucky! At the same time, you have a responsibility to the community. You cannot blow, rake, or dump leaves and other yard debris onto public land, as you surely wouldn’t on the yards of other neighbors. Dumping may seem innocent enough. It is just woods, right? But large, dense piles of debris kill the native plans underneath the piles. In some cases, we find the piles are blocking trails.

If one wheelbarrow of leaves is OK, what about two? What about 52? We cannot draw the line between “small” and “too much,” so we have a hard and fast policy: No dumping on town property, period. This is why every year we have to contact dozens of homeowners asking them to remove the debris they dumped, a call we hate to make, and our neighbors hate to receive.

Many people run over their leaves with a lawn mower instead of raking or blowing them. The chopped up leaves will not hurt the lawn. In fact, they return nutrients to the soil. Because leaves are acidic, some people add lime to their lawns to compensate, but many report this isn’t necessary because an annual dose of chopped up leaves doesn’t seem to be enough to significantly change the soil pH. Even Scotts, the lawn care company, recommends this. Similarly, you can leave grass clippings where they fall. If you hire a lawn care company, tell them this is your preference. It might even save you money.

Thanks, and see you on the trails.

guy mowing a lawn with yellow leaves on it on a sunny day


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