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Fiery Autumn leaves, admire them, collect them and bag them.


 
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James Kilkelly
Rank: Site Admin


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2163
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:21 pm    Post subject: Fiery Autumn leaves, admire them, collect them and bag them. Reply with quote

We are well into autumn now and one could say that a down point of this season is the colder nights. On the upside, this causes our deciduous trees to exhibit their fiery leaf colours to full effect before shedding. Leaves contain chlorophyll, a pigment that gives them their colour. Autumn coloration in leaves happens when, as a result of the decomposition of chlorophyll, additional vibrant pigments or colours are revealed. Some of the best examples of autumn leaf colour in trees come from the Maple, Beech, Ash, Mountain Ash, Hazel, Oak, Birch, and Chestnut.

Along with cold snaps, winds will speed the shedding of leaves from trees. These fallen leaves enliven the trees bases with a crunchy colourful carpet, but they can have a very detrimental effect on your lawn. A covering of fallen leaves will block sunlight reaching your grass, which over a week or two will cause the grass to weaken and become patchy. To prevent this, large quantities of leaves should be removed within a day or two. You may rake or vacuum the leaves up, either is ok, but what to do with your collection is the next question.


Photo / pic / image of collected and bagged leaves.
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Leaves, especially those from Beech and Oak trees are notoriously slow to break down on a compost heap because of their tough construction. Instead of heading for the compost heap, I would suggest collecting the leaves into black bin bags. Tie the top of the bag when full and pierce a series of holes all over to allow ventilation. Place these bags in an area away from rainfall and leave to sit for approximately seven months. This method does not create compost; instead, it forms leaf mould, which is useful for conditioning soil and retaining moisture. Whilst you are collecting your fallen leaves don't forget to check the stakes, ties and other supports on your trees.

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