Break Out The Rake

Fall!  And except for the lack of rain, the weather has been glorious.  Walk through the neighborhood and treat your visual senses to the spectacular color of our trees.

But once those leaves are on the ground, you’ll experience another sensory overload: the constant din of leaf blowers.  Six days a week, at all times of the day, there is the racket of a leaf blower to be heard somewhere in the neighborhood.  Just listen to this example (you might want to turn down the volume).

Here’s our pitch to reduce the auditory assault of these machines and use a rake instead.  It’s great exercise and also helps out wildlife, trees and plants.  Plus, nothing is more fun than playing in a pile of beautiful fall leaves!

Consider these points:

  • While a layer of leaves is not good for lawns, other plants and trees will thrive with undisturbed leaf litter.  If the leaves are removed, so are the nutrients that feed the plant. Lawns also benefit from a light layer of chopped leaves (the mulch setting on most lawn mowers).
  • Many beneficial insects make their home in leaf litter [1]
  • Leaf blowers don’t just blow away leaves, but they blow away topsoil as well.   They also fill the air with contaminates including toxic chemicals (used by some lawn services), allergens, molds and other things better left undisturbed. [2]
  • Leaf blowers were not invented to remove leaves, but as crop dusters.  In other words, they are a solution that went searching for a problem.  [2]
  • Leaf blowers interfere with animals’ ability to communicate with each other.  This makes it difficult to find mates, hunt and avoid predators. [3]

Now, without a leaf blower around, you can hear this:

Break out the rake.


References and Additional Information

[1]  Smithsonian:  Where Do Insects Go in the Winter?
[2]  Dr. Weil:  Ban Leafblowers
[3]  Clive Thompson: How Man-Made Noise May Be Altering Earth’s Ecology

2 thoughts on “Break Out The Rake

  1. Shane

    All leaf blowers should be banned. Also, those who throw the leaves in a burning barrel and let them smolder — If you are going to burn something, burn it! Yuck, that horrible smoke.



    Looks like North Carolina! Beautiful trees.Thanks for including obnoxious leaf blower as a contrast to the peaceful beauty of fall – hope people will think about taking out the rake instead. Some probably have not even thought about the noise or the contrast.



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