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Autumn leaf and tree care tips

Autumn leaf and tree care tips
Fall colored leaves on trees in Lenexa City CenterIt’s the perfect time to give your lawn and trees some cool-weather TLC.

Do you have to clean up leaves?

City ordinance doesn’t require property owners to remove leaves, but we encourage residents to be a good neighbor and do so. If your neighbor isn’t taking care of their leaves, it’s kind to ask them if they need help — especially if they are elderly or have physical challenges.

Keep your mower handy

Mulch mowing is an easy, cost-effective way to dispose of your leaves. First, mow over the leaves with no bagger attachment. Then attach the bagger and collect your leaves. The fine collected leaf material can be used around trees or in garden beds to collect moisture, control weed growth and add organic matter.
If you have too many leaves to mulch mow, remember to use compostable yard waste bags — plastic bags will not be taken by trash haulers. Also check with your trash hauler on the number of bags they will collect each week. Some trash companies have higher yard waste limits during the fall.

Consider compost

Leaves also make great compost. You can mix them into your regular compost materials or spread them over your garden and work them into the soil.

Know where leaves shouldn’t go
Don’t sweep leaves along the curb and leave them there. The leaves are likely to blow into a neighbor’s yard, the street or a storm drain.

If you spot anyone sweeping or blowing leaves into a drain, creek or stream, report it by calling Municipal Services at 913.477.7880. Dumping trash, chemicals, yard waste (including leaves or grass) or other substances into storm drains, creeks or streams is against the law.

Grass and leaves in storm drains can become a breeding ground for rodents and insects and can clog drains, causing localized flooding. Plant matter that washes into streams also deprives aquatic life of oxygen.

Also, regularly make sure your home’s gutters are clear of leaves.

Prudent pruning

Once all the leaves have fallen off your trees, start thinking about trimming and pruning. Dead wood can be removed any time. Winter, when trees are dormant, is the best time to prune them. The Arbor Day Foundation suggests waiting until after the coldest part of the winter has passed to start pruning.

If your neighbor’s tree extends onto your property, you can trim back the tree to your property line.

Published on Oct. 25, 2019