To rake or not to rake

Come autumn, leaves put on a fireworks display and swirl down into the yard below. An oft-asked query this time of year has surprisingly Shakespearean overtones. To rake or not to rake? That is the question.

Anyway, for all the beauty of the phrasing, the issue itself is an important one: Is it healthier for your yard to be clear of leaves through the winter, or to have that thick organic blanket until spring? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each tactic.

To Rake …

While it’s important to remove thick blankets of leaves in snowy areas in places that don’t get snow, it’s safer to leave them on the ground. However, if you live in an area with particularly thick leaf fall, you may want to rake up at least some of them. While they’re unlikely to suffocate lawns, as people once thought, they may still encourage mold growth if thick enough.

You may also choose to rake if you simply like the look of a nice clean yard. However, consider leaving the leaves in place come the end of fall, where they will degrade and contribute nutrients to the soil. If you really don’t want them on your lawn, rake them into beds and under shrubs, where they make nice mulch.

… Or Not to Rake

One of the best ways to mulch your yard is to use your mower to chop leaves up into little pieces and then leave them on the lawn. If you want to break down leaves in other parts of your yard, but don’t want to run the mower over some parts, consider pulling or raking leaves out of beds, going over them with the mower, and returning them when done.

If you have allergies to leaf mold, dust, grass or other outdoor matter, you should definitely wear a mask while shredding leaves. It will keep irritants out of your nose, mouth and lungs. You may want to consider eye goggles as well if you’re particularly sensitive.

Next time you’re wondering how to deal with nature’s bounty – unwelcome as it may feel – consider just taking a deep breath and leaving leaves in place. In the long run, they may give you a healthier, prettier yard.

If raking is the least of your lawn and tree issues, just know that you can always contact Premier Tree Solutions for answers to any of your arboreal problems by clicking here.

Prep Your Trees Before the Freeze

You care about your trees. They add value to your home and beautify your landscape year-round. But if you’re not careful, your favorite green giants could be in for a ton of trouble during the colder seasons.

Want the good news? It’s possible to avoid disaster by having Premier Tree Solutions check your trees now before the heavy cold really sets in. Fall is an excellent time to do this, when leaves are still on the trees. Later, after they drop, it will be harder to spot problems that could lead to property damage during rough winter weather.

Survey your trees

Give your trees a good once-over while they’re still in leaf. Do you see any with dead patches of leaves, even though other parts of the tree still have healthy leaves? This usually indicates that the limb has died. If all the leaves are dead, but others of the same species still have leaves, the whole tree might need to go. It’s important to do this soon, before potential disease spreads to other trees. Other dangers to watch for include cracks in bark or limbs, deep splits or distinct leans.

Water weekly           

Although winter often brings snow and rain, both sources of significant moisture, the cold months are also often sources of considerable dryness. Seedlings are especially vulnerable, when cold combined with a lack of water can be harmful or even deadly.

Avoid this by watering every week up until the first freeze. Water deeply and thoroughly, letting moisture soak down into the soil to the root zone. Here are a few rules for watering both younger and older trees.

Remove potential hazards

Don’t leave these dangers to chance, especially if you live in an area known for snowstorms or ice – which add weight to branches – or heavy rains. If your region is subject to thunderstorms, it’s also important to get dead limbs removed before they catch fire (a more common problem than you might think).

Call in the experts

If removing dangerous limbs or trees is beyond your knowledge or comfort level, call in the experts. Premier Tree Solutions has the tools and know-how to take care of even the most dangerous situations, so don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking here. Make this winter your safest and most peaceful yet by taking care of problems before they cause trouble.