As with most other plant debris, you start thinking of ways to get rid of your leaves as soon as they start falling. But unlike tree branches and dropped fruit, fallen leaves can help you accomplish a number of outdoor tasks when used correctly.
Consider using your fallen leaves for one of these seven tasks.
1. Enrich Your Compost
Rather than bagging up your leaves and letting them go to a landfill, use them in your compost pile. Moist leaves serve as great brown matter that you can mix with green matter, such as vegetable waste from your kitchen.
Over time, your leaves can contribute to nutrient-rich compost that's perfect for gardening.
2. Fertilise Your Lawn
Instead of raking up your leaves, consider leaving them to enrich the nutrients in your lawn. Simply use your lawn mower to shred the leaves that are already laying on your grass. This use also allows for aeration.
Before you opt for this use, make sure that your homeowners' association allows for a lawn that may look slightly unkempt for the time being.
3. Improve Flower Bed Soil Quality
You don't have to compost your leaves for them to help with future planting. Once you gather up fallen leaves, shred them by hand or carefully using a trimming tool. Shredding these leaves ensures that they don't smother your seedlings. Then, mix the leaves into your flower bed soil for natural fertiliser.
4. Insulate Vulnerable Areas
If you primarily have dry fallen leaves, you can use them to decrease the impact that cold weather has on your bills and your belongings. Bag these leaves up loosely, then line vulnerable sections of buildings with the bags.
Because you may get some odours while the leaves sit, this type of insulations works best in sheds and other semi-outdoor spaces.
5. Protect Plants From Cold Weather
Have tender year-round plants that may struggle when the temperature decreases? If you live in a cooler area, use fallen leaves as a protective layer over dormant plants.
Use this mulch around the base of shrubs and perennial plants. Pile the leaves up about 10 to 15 centimetres high.
6. Provide Essential Wildlife Habitats
If you feel comfortable doing so, use your fallen leaves to create brush piles. Start with some crisscrossed branches and layer leaves over the top of them. This process creates a warm area for local wildlife and essential habitats for butterflies and other insects.
Only place brush piles where they won't be disturbed. Separate brush piles from any buildings to discourage pests in the future. Before you start any brush piles, let your neighbours know what you're up to so they can avoid disturbing the piles as well.
7. Start Controlled Fires
If you have a fire pit or fireplace, you may feel like you constantly have to stock up on kindling. When temperatures start to decrease, look no further than your front yard. Use dry leaves as starter materials for your next fire.
As with any fire, only set leaf fires in designated areas. Do not leave these fires unsupervised, especially if they're located outdoors where they could spread.
To ensure that fallen leaves do not create a safety or fire hazard, clear them away from the foundation of your home. Additionally, keep fallen leaves from piling up on your roof or in your gutters where they can contribute to water damage, mould and corrosion.
Want advice based specifically on your landscaping? Work with All About Tree Services. Our staff can help you manage and care for your trees, clear away seasonal debris and improve plant growth on your property.
Start using your fallen leaves in one of the ways listed above today.
Whether you work in a backyard garden or manage the landscaping of a public building, you likely know the importance of mulch. The right
mulch protects the vulnerable roots of new plants from extreme weather, while providing essential nutrients to encourage optimal growth.
But you may not know which type of mulch will work best on your property, in your garden or throughout your decorative flowerbeds.
Many homeowners and business executives choose wood based mulch, usually in the form of wood chips, due to its many beneficial
characteristics. In this blog, we introduce you to five of the common advantages of using wood chip mulch.
Synthetic mulch boasts many benefits. However, the process of creating synthetic mulch incorporates many more steps than the process of creating organic wood chips. Because synthetic mulch is more difficult to produce, consumers typically pay higher prices for it.
In most cases, wood chips provide a practical mulch solution that's more cost-effective than other options. You can find even cheaper wood chip mulch when you work with a local tree removal service rather than a national mulch supplier, since the chips won't need to be shipped over a long distance.
One of the biggest reasons to use mulch is to inhibit weed germination and growth. While all mulch prevents weeds from spreading with varying degrees of success, wood chips prove one of the most effective weed-blocking choices.
The weight and natural chemical components of wood chips make it more difficult for weeds to take root and reach maturity.
3. Low Maintenance
While organic mulches require more frequent replenishment (because they break down more quickly) than synthetic mulches, wood chips represent one of the lowest maintenance landscaping materials.
Wood breaks down into nutrients that your plants need, so there's no requirement to remove the deteriorated mulch before creating a new layer. Wood chips also resist movement, so it to stays where you lay it rather than spreading out.
When taken care of correctly, wood chips can provide active benefits for up to 10 years before needing replacement.
4. Moisture Retentive
One of mulch's primary purposes is to reduce the required amount of watering in a specific area. Ground cover diminishes evaporation and gives water time to really saturate the soil.
Wood chips offer extremely high levels of moisture retention. In fact, some experts report that wood chips reduce the need for irrigation by about 50%, especially in perennial flower beds and around shrubs.
Wood chips are readily available almost anywhere in the world because manufacturers create them mostly out of tree debris that would otherwise be thrown away.
In a landfill, tree limbs and bark take up a lot of space. In a garden, those same tree branches provide vital nutrients, decrease water use and encourage new plants to grow. This natural cycle makes wood chips one of the most sustainable mulch choices on the market.
You may even have the option of 'recycling' trees on your property that die or become damaged by turning them into mulch. If you decide to use your own trees for wood chips, work with a trained arborist to ensure that the wood doesn't have any diseases, pests or fungal growths that could damage your garden.
If you think wood chip mulch could work for you, reach out to a tree service provider. Certified arborists and tree removal specialists often create wood chip mulch from damaged trees that would otherwise go to a landfill. These professionals often offer mulch in higher bulk at a more affordable price, making them an ideal supplier for industrial, municipal and commercial landscapers.
Take advantage of these benefits in your own gardening or landscaping today. For more information about tree health and removal, read our other blog posts.
As you prepare your home for resale, you take every measure possible to ensure you receive the best price. You make repairs, upgrade appliances and add a fresh coat of paint.
But as you pull the weeds and trim your bushes, you can't help but wonder what you should do about that large tree in your yard. It's old, far older than the house, and the tree would need a lot of pruning to trim it back into shape.
Should you even bother with the time and effort of caring for your tree? Or should you remove the tree altogether to increase your property value?
Advantages of Trees
In many cases, mature trees add to your property value, often by as much as 7 to 19 percent. And since trees take at least 5 to 7 years to mature, many homeowners prefer to buy properties with well-established trees rather than wait for new lots to grow new trees.
In addition to improving overall value, trees offer the following benefits:
They Save on Heating and Cooling
Trees shield your home from the elements, preventing wind, rain, snow and sun from wreaking havoc on your siding and eaves. And during the summer, shaded areas enjoy temperatures almost 11 to 25 degrees lower than unshaded areas.
As a result, your heating and cooling systems won't have to work as hard to counteract outdoor seasons. Future buyers will definitely want to learn more about how they can save money every month.
They Create a Relaxing Atmosphere
Few things feel more relaxing than sitting under a sheltering tree and listening to the wind rustle the leaves. And studies show that spending just five minutes around trees or green spaces improves your health. You may experience a better immune system, a lower blood pressure and reduced stress when you spend more time in nature.
But that's not all.
According to researchers, people who live near trees report lower levels of anxiety and depression than their asphalt and concrete counterparts. So don't hesitate to talk to future homeowners about how your tree will give them a boost.
Disadvantages of Trees
Of course, not all trees live up to their potential. When trees interrupt the landscape, or if they grow unchecked in the yard, they could negate the above advantages and even hurt your resale value.
They Create a Health Hazard
Unfortunately, dead and dying limbs and branches pose a health risk. As brittle boughs break in the wind, they could come crashing down with a great deal of force. Anyone walking under or near the tree could suffer a severe injury.
And if the tree grows too closely to electrical lines or to the house, you may have to pay for expensive electrical and roof repairs.
They Damage Plumbing and Foundations
Although you don't see them, tree roots spread wide and dig deep into the earth. In some cases, these roots extend horizontally 3 times the tree's height. And as the roots search out water sources to sustain the tree during drought, they'll burrow in and through the hardest surfaces.
If your tree sits too close to your house, the roots could weaken the foundation and cause the entire home to shift and buckle. And if the tree sits too close to a septic system or sewer line, the roots could clog and obstruct the pipes, resulting in unpleasant backups and overflows.
Have a Troublesome Tree?
Although trees offer a lot of benefits, some trees do require removal to improve the safety and value of your home. If you have a tree that undermines your home's foundation or obstructs an otherwise gorgeous view of the countryside, talk to a professional arborist. He or she may recommend trimming branches to improve its appearance or removing the tree entirely.
You love most aspects of living in Queensland, especially the tropical climate, the lush rainforests and the moderate dry season temperature. However, during the wet season, you have to endure severe weather storms that can damage your property.
To minimise your chances of sustaining property damage or personal injuries during the storm season, take care of your trees. In our blog below, we'll tell you how to prepare your trees for a seasonal storm. We'll also tell you how to maintain your trees throughout the year so you don't have to rush to prepare them right before the season's first cyclone hits.
Before Storm Season
Before a storm occurs, you should pay close attention to your trees. Take these steps to avoid costly damages once storms strike.
Understand Your Trees
Some trees are better equipped for harsh storms than others. If you know your trees aren't very wind-resistant, talk to your arborist about trimming and pruning branches. You might also consider replacing weak trees with sturdier species that have hardier branches and roots.
The most wind- and storm-resistant trees have better flexibility, strong root systems and open branch systems. They lack dense canopies and can lose their leaves easily to survive the wind better.
Native trees like eucalypts, native sugar palms and other native palms, mangroves, hoop pines and other native pines often endure storms better than non-native species. These trees may lose small branches and leaves in high winds, but most will still stay standing at the end of a storm.
Inspect Your Trees
A qualified arborist should inspect your trees at least once every two years. He or she can check that your trees are disease- and pest-free. He or she will also make sure that your trees are healthy and strong enough to endure major storms. Call your arborist before storm season starts so you can address potential problems well in advance.
A few warning signs you and your arborist should look for include:
· Decaying trees
· Crooked branches
· Tilting trees
· Cracks in limbs and trunks
· Low-hanging branches or branches near your property
Remove Dangerous Trees
If your arborist or tree lopping service determines your tree could damage your property, have it removed. You'll avoid costly damage and injury from falling dead branches or torn-up dead trees. Your tree felling service will remove the tree safely and clean the site afterward.
Remember that you might need approval from your local Council before you prune or remove trees. Your arborist can often look into this for you.
During Storm Season
If you've taken care of your trees before cyclone season, you shouldn't have much to worry about. If your trees still need removal or pruning, contact your arborist as early in the season as possible. Otherwise, take these precautions during and after storms.
Prepare Your Home
Even if you've pruned your trees back, a heavy storm might damage branches that can harm your home. Consider adding metal screens or shutters to windows. Make sure all of your family members know to stay away from windows during storms. Everyone should move to the safest room in the house.
Remove Fallen Branches and Leaves
After the skies clear, remove any debris from your yard. If the storm broke your tree's branches or trunk, contact your arborist to find out if you can save the tree or if it needs pruning or removal.
Always be wary of damaged trees. Broken branches in your yard, your neighbours' yards or around the city can fall and cause injury. Report fallen power lines and trees as soon as possible.
After Storm Season
Once storm season ends, it's time to start the process all over again. Talk to your arborist and tree felling company about how to keep your trees healthy during the dry season, which trees to remove and how to prepare for next year's season.