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Sunday, 08 November 2015


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I started reading, muttering silently, "Me, too! I hate noise." Then I got to the leaf blower part, and felt guilting — I just got my first leaf blower! Then I read on and saw that you, too, joined the ranks of noise-hating leaf blower users.

I got mine to clean gutters, a task that more than justifies the small expense of the tool and its use once or twice a year. Then my wife got her hands on it and she (also a previous leaf-blower hater who regularly complained about our neighbor's over-use of the toll) allowed that "it is kind of addictive.

We decided that a leaf blower is a grown-up toy for the OCD afflicted... ;-)

Love it Mike. My previous house was wooded in the rear and I had lots of leaves. I finally just got rid of all of the grass and replaced it with mulched shrubs ... and just left the leaves on the ground. Another thing I found was that the winter winds usually blew most of them away.

Where do you blow the leaves to? In my neighborhood in CT, folks blow them onto the roads so drivers have to deal with them.

Like you, noise drives me crazy: I have the hearing of a vampire; when my upstairs neighbor lights a cigarette, I can hear the match strike. It's a curse. Leaf blowers suggest to me that there's a place in society for justifiable homicide, so I can feel your angst at having to own one. Good luck with it, and be thankful that your neighbors are making as much noise as you are. But don't blow the leaves my way.

You forgot car alarms.

I don't know what leaf blowers cost, not a problem we have in the desert, but if the cord won't stretch far enough get a Vagabond, Paul Buff. Good for powering a monolight on location and providing a power outlet anywhere you might want one.

I have similar low tolerance to noise pollution, and compounded with many, many transcontinental flights, things could get tough. Six months ago, I bought a pair of in-ear noise cancelling headphones, which I didn't even know existed, the excellent Bose QC20, and I now swim in an ocean of bliss whenever traveling or staying in an urban center. By far their best feature is that they can be used "passively", not playing any music (they don't even have to be connected to anything), simply cancelling noise around you. Maybe worth considering as a last option before murdering your neighbour?

Why not leave them there? Dormant deciduous forests were designed to have a moisture conserving ground cover.
Unless you make compost with an even noisier chipper/shredder the next big wind will blow the leaves right back anyway.
And who knows? You could wind up with a crop of wildflowers including the wild lady slipper orchids found all over upstate NY. Orchids don't grow in dried out soil.

Oh, boy. You have touched on my loathing for leaf blowers as well. I've lived in the country most of my life, but now reside in town. In any given week, there are enough gardeners roaming about with shrieking leaf blowers to keep Charlie Brown's kite forever above the trees. I can see the utility of the things, but I hate, hate, hate them, don't like them very much at all. (There are quiet ones?) Not to mention 4-cylinder hot rods that sound like a mouse farting in a tin can. And Harleys...

I, too, don't like noise, but I do some lawn work. Usually I just mulch the leaves with my mower and leave the leaves in place to fertilize the yard over the winter. After I mulch I run the blower quickly over the sidewalks and drives to clean things up a bit. I don't have any trees in my front yard but my neighbors on both sides do have trees and happily share their leaves with me. In the back yard, I mow and bag my leaves and pile them on my gardens to overwinter, and then turn them under in my raised beds in the Spring. I have one neighbor down the street using a vacuum attachment on her leaf blower, watching her go after every last leaf down, I suspect she could do the job much better in one tenth of time with a rake!

Welcome to the Finger Lakes!! :-)

I have a new, across-the-street neighbor who thinks it's okay to run his table saw after 10pm with his garage door open....

Looks like you have a ton of leaves. I have an electric blower but only use it for the white pine needles up on the garage. I tried it last year on the yard but I'm better with a rake. I wonder if a mulching mower might help you with some of it. I used my mower on the final pass and it looks great.

There might be some sports teams this time of year looking for fundraising too. Ten or fifteen kids could do it in no time.



Rakes are quiet

Do not rake leaves. Here is a link from the National Wildlife Federation that explains why.

You neglected to mention power washers. I have neighbors who use them to wash *every surface* of their houseboats and yachts on the odd sunny day, all day. It's like sitting in a dentist's office.

I assume you are using a gas powered blower. If so, be sure to wear 30db earmuffs while its running. Even if the instructions with it don't say so. You don't want hearing loss the reason for less audible blower noise, or the loss of music clarity. Any noise around 80db or more which is experienced for an extended time can cause hearing problems-temporary threshold shift, or permanent loss. May look geeky, but the risk isn't worth it.

One of the best Northern European autumns (falls) in years has led to the reddest of maple trees in our garden.

I too hate blower noise, but I hate restaurant music even more. Not only is conversation in competition with muzak, but it's the restaurant'sbloody choice of muzak.

Can I also complain about hard surfaces in restaurants that turn conversation into a shouting match? I can't? Oh well ...

Uh Oh. Another city dweller moves to the country. I have to disagree. Almost 2 acres of leaves??. Yikes.!! Those wonderful leaves are meant to crunch under your feet as you gleefully go walking throught them. Your dogs will love romping in them as well. As mother nature intended, they will decompose into the most wonderful topsoil, supporting thousands of micro-organisms, mushrooms and all kinds of beautiful plants. And finally they will nourish the very trees they fell from. So all is well. Go ahead and waste your time making noise if you will, me, I just leave the leaves ( har har ) and enjoy their natural beauty. I'm sure the trees won't mind. ((Now if I could just convince my own neighbor, as he too has one powered by a 747 engine it seems.)) I have to go now, taking my m43 60mm macro out to take some wonderfull fall macro images. ( leaves of course!! )

Please--PLEASE--buy ear protection, too or you'll miss the great jazz from your sound system..:

Mike, I don't know if you live in an area that can burn your leaves? In my town, it is not allowed for environmental reasons, not sure exactly what those are, but I grew up with burning leaves, and really miss the smell. It is not Fall without the wonderful smell of burning leaves. Hope you can enjoy the smells of Fall along with the sounds of leafblowers and lawnmowers. For those of us lucky enough to live in the northern climes we know what is next-Snowblowers. Good luck

"It's quietly dramatic and undeniably beautiful. But there are leaves all over everywhere.".........."But something had to be done."
I don't understand why you feel something has to be done.

Forgot to add, if you turn off the leaf blower, you can sit back and relax and listen to the thousands of migrating birds fly over. We live on a major migration route ( 20 miles east of "OiI Patch" Edmonton Alberta) and get all kinds of geese and cranes for weeks on end. Stunning. We are very fortunate, as we live on 38 acres far away from the big city hustle and bustle. Our own piece of paradise if you will. Now if I could just convince all those owners of overcooked pickups with their super tires and obnoxious mufflers to go away from our road, all would be prefect. :)

They use a tool which is acomination of a broom and rake in my neighbourdhood, to remove the leaves.
Also they didn't clear much of them, maybe because it almost didn't rain. The sidewalks look awesome in those yellow mapple leaves.

Before there were leaf blowers, there were rakes. Good calorie burners rakes, too.

Another thought. Do you suppose the fires of hell are fueled by fallen leaves?

The Hamburg (Germany) City Cleaning Corporation has recently switched to lithium battery powered leaf blowers. A boon. You cannot hear them, just notice that all the leaves are gone and . . . . your car needs a wash.

Leaf blowers: this is a curious American obsession. It’s like as a nation you decided there is not enough futility in your lives yet, and this is what you came up with.

Don’t get me wrong; they might be fun for five minutes. But then I’m putting it down and just concentrating on sweeping the footpath.

Noise pollution...I hear you. Right now I've got some crow-like creature outside my window heckling the Jimmy Giuffre clarinet I'm trying to enjoy.

I'm disappointed in you, Mike.

Two words of advice: "Mulching Mower".

I use this technique to reduce the leaves to tiny pieces that can stay on the lawn for all I care. Not as perfectly manicured a solution as meticulously blowing or raking into big piles, but no piles to deal with after the fact, either. I started using the "mulch my leaves" approach after paying a professional lawn crew over $600 the first year I moved to Massachusetts. They used three guys with blower packs and took six hours to finish. I now do fall cleanup in three hours all by myself with a $300 Toro Recycling mower. And it gives me pretty good exercise, too!

When I use a leaf blower, electric by the way, I think I know how a sheep dog feels trying to control a flock of sheep.

Well Mike, there is this: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/10583/20141121/leave-leaves-why-shouldnt-rake.htm

From adolescence I embraced the minimalist approach to yard and lawn care, particularly fallen leaves. It just made sense; as I politely but sincerely pitched it to my father, if we just waited a week or so, the prevailing Westerly winds would reliably transport all the leaves in our yard neatly into the yard of our neighbor to the East. And since our neighbor to the West reliably raked and swept up every last leaf every day, we were covered on that front. Problem solved!

Sadly, he was not persuaded by my logic.

I now take the opposite approach with my long-suffering spouse. We live about 50 miles west of Mike's abode on 100 acres of largely forested land. The very notion of raking leaves is self-evidently absurd, because it's the classic Sisyphean task. Two minutes of stiff breeze, and it's like you never raked at all. The problem isn't that it's unnecessary; rather, it's obviously futile. My wife has apparently accepted my logic.

Either that, or I've just worn her down.

I gave up on handling the leaf thing. There are too many leaves to rake by hand and the shop vac didn't really work out too well as a leaf sucker-upper. So every autumn fork we over $$$ to a leaf clean-up crew. Five guys with five atomic-powered leaf blowers can accomplish in one hour what one lady with one rake can do in two weeks. The SigOth is always mysteriously absent during leaf season, so he got no say in the hiring of the leaf-blower guys.

Leaf blowers in autumn were my excuse for forking over some additional $$$ for a pair of noise-cancelling Bose headphones. Although they are not the ideal choice for cancelling the hellish leaf blower cacophony, they are really great for music and useful on airplanes.

I am not nearly so sensitive to noise as you are, Mike (my brain develops matched filters against common noises pretty easily), but leaf blowers rankle even me. One of the upsides to living in a neighborhood composed primarily of condos and apartments is that the leaf blowers apparently run while I'm at work.

I bought my first leaf blower this year. Yes, it makes leaf cleanup a breeze, but my favorite application is lighting our charcoal grill. We use one of those charcoal chimney's (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=charcoal+chimney). The chimney does a great job creating a hot bed of coals, but it does take awhile, about 20 minutes to heat all the way through. That's where the leaf blower comes in handy -- charcoal chimney plus leaf blower equals backyard blast furnace. Just be careful to wait for all the paper to burn out of the bottom chamber before applying the blower. One evening I was impatient and flying embers melted holes in my kid's trampoline.

Amen. I too hate noise, and you peg the worst culprits. I might add lawn mowers. I love it when it is cold and snow is on the ground, just not enough for them to bring out the snow blowers. What is wrong with leaves on the ground?

Trying to loose weight and use a leaf blower- explain that to the noise loving biker without helmet. Please.

Years ago I bought an electric leaf blower only to realize that they don't work well -- or at all -- on pine needles. Nowadays I use it to clean the accumulated dirt out of the grooves on my concrete driveway. Since we have year-round water restrictions, using the hose for cleaning the driveway is verboten.

Our biggest noise around here is snow blowers in the winter and carpet cleaning trucks in the summer.

Uh, Mike? "Rake" is not a four letter word!

I'm not getting it. You seem to be in some sort of a mental trap. Typical of people who were born in a supermarket.

Solution nr.1 - let the leaves rot where they are, and give up converting a forest into a lawn.

Solution nr.2 - get a big rake, and rake the leaves manually every day - better than these fancy workouts they show on You Tube.

Solution nr. 3 - eliminate deciduous trees on your property.

Good luck.


Leaf vacuums are much quieter.
Why not let nature take her course with composting ? The leaves will protect the ground cover during the winter. Clean them up into a compost at the start of spring. Just broom sweep where you need to walk in the meantime - yes ?


Ah. The wonders of the iPod and noise cancelling earphones.
As regards these blowing contraptions I never bother, garden hose to wet the leaves down, a big hard broom and the abs are back in shape in no time.


I'm most sympathetic to your stance on noise. I like going to cafe's to read and relax when time allows. Problem is, it's become near impossible to find a cafe that doesn't play obnoxious music. I was at one cafe recently and found myself thinking, "Techno dance music at 9:00 on a peaceful Sunday morning? Really? Someone actually wants this?" Try reading something with your coffee while that's blaring. Another thing that drives me to distraction is the all the beepers that we have everywhere now. When our washer and dryer have done their work, they emit three very loud beeps (5 times) that can be heard from anywhere in the house. Most annoying! And cars that give a brief but loud "honk" of the horn whenever they're locked. I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one bothered by all this, but after reading your post, I'm thankfully not alone.


Mike, why didn't you get a cordless one, like the Makita?

The photo looks as though you will have to make some clever plans in order to dispose of all the leaves!

The streets here are lined with trees and the local authority have place mesh 'chicken-pens' on each corner, for residents to fill up with leaves. These are then emptied by the biggest vacuum-cleaner you ever saw. It is basically a six-tonne truck with a secondary engine for the suction. Maybe you could find one of those and just hoover them all up,
instead of blowing the leaves around a bit?

You could always just remove the leaves from the driveway, as I understand you don't live in the suburbs and thus a "natural" look for the yard ca be totally fine. Or you get out a rake and possibly the lawn mover for some old school leaf removal; works as light exercise, allows for meditative breaks from desk work and if you're on a nice spot, you can listen to the sounds of nature while doing it.

As the above hints, I'm not a fan of leaf blowers. While I understand the appeal of one, they don't strike me as particularly efficient or relaxing in any way. I would expect that in the not too distant future robots can handle this aspect of maintenance work.


If you can just let them decay into the soil as nature intended. It's soil food!

I cannot imagine that you would not want to have the magnificent colour that your trees provide but a better solution might be a mulching lawn mower so that you can use the resulting mulch in your garden - rather than just moving the leaves.

Ah, yes, humans seem compelled to interrupt nature. no matter what nature might think...
Sigh . . .

The good thing about leaf blowers is that they'll drown out the ice cream man.

How did mankind survive without leaf blowers in the past ?

I heard a story that one of the manufacturers of leaf blowers did some research and found that people though nosier leaf blowers were better, so they purposely designed their blowers to be louder.


What happens if you just leave the leaves where they fall?

I've leaves, eucalyptus bark & nuts, & even limbs just on the ground. On ~2700 square metres.

I'm sensitive to noise, my partner is not, which makes for a lot of "Shh"ing and a lot of "What?"ing sometimes. With neighbours on one side with a morning-warm-up Harley Davidson and a loud outside stereo around the pool, and on the other side grandkids at 6:30am and balcony dinner parties at 1am, well every January 1st at 7am was me and my wood-chipper's time to shine.

(I've moved since - I'm now on 275 acres and my nearest neighbour is two kilometres away. My noisiest neighbours are the birds & the brumbies. Only on some early, summer mornings do I wish the birds would keep it down.)

Oh yes, I forgot to mention above, a couple of battery-powered monolights. Good for in excess of 200 1/1 flashes per battery, & eminently portable. (My assistant is quite small.)

Leaves are supposed to be *raked*, and if there are too many of them expanding over several acres, that is called Nature and should best be left alone...
Leaf blowers are the most obnoxious contraption invented by mankind to solve a non-issue, ever.
Ask Thoreau if he used one. His pond was within a day's drive from your woods...


My dislike of leaf blowers (and Harleys) must surely exceed yours. As you say, all they do is move things and what's wrong with leaves (where they are) anyway? Leaf litter is essential to a healthy ecology and lawns are definitely not, so a few, or lots of leaves only need removing occasionally (rakes and brooms seem to have been forgotten these days). I will never succumb to the dark side.

Having just returned recently from Japan I would agree about that maple being particularly pretty.

Why not just leave the leaves? They're beautiful where they are. If it's because that 1.8 acres is grass lawn and would die, start reducing the amount of lawn. If it's not lawn, the leaves will help reduce erosion from winter rain, fertilize the trees, and provide forage and shelter for bird food, i.e. worms and bugs. They'll mostly be gone on their own by late spring, many pulled underground by earthworms. The rest will have packed down into 'duff' which is the top soil layer.

If you remove the leaves, what happens to them? Burning? A horrible pollutant, not just CO2 but fine particles that can cause and exacerbate heart and lung diseases. Haul them to a composter? Similar pollution from the petroleum burning, though more dispersed.

To get away from grass, put in native shrubs and ground covers, and never have to blow leaves again, just some quiet pruning here and there. Those leaves will keep the soil loose and fertile--grass tends to smother tree roots with the soil compaction it encourages.

If you do make a switch away from grass, don't do it all at once. A little at a time will get it done faster in the long run. See if you have a native plant society in your area. Many have a consultation program, and will send someone out for free or cheap to tell you about the possibilities.

You'll end up with a much more interesting yard to photograph, and the dogs will have much more interesting olfactory experiences.

Doug Tallamy's "Bringing Nature Home" is a great introduction, and has lots of good photos (though not your usual subject choice....)


While cumbersome, would noise-negating headphones help to relieve the stress?

Yeah, you'll regret the cord. Don't worry about it though. More importantly, you remembered to get a good pair of ear plugs for when you use the thing, right?

Ambient noises drive me insane. I wear ear plugs when mowing and blowing because even though I'm the cause of the noise I found that doing these chores without some good -33db ear plugs always left me in a foul mood. Noises generated by others are worse. My wife always has the tv turned to eleven, even when she's not watching it. My kids... Well, you know. And I fantasize about throwing watermelons at people who drive by my house with intentionally loud exhausts at midnight.

Just leave the leaves alone! I understand you may need to clear them round the house/paths but your photos show woodland areas where fallen leaves are natural. The worms will take them down eventually. Just relax.

Electric will cost you ... I burnt three out over two seasons in a place where we don't have any tree cover like you face.

My recommendation is a Shindawa ...overbuilt but also 4cycle hybrid so the sound emitted is much lower in pitch ... which is the main culprit with most blowers. Bigger the better ... last thing you want to do is keep the sound going hours longer than necessary.

Oh ... get real ear protection ... I use Ultimate Ear Microsonic Ear Plugs with the highest level of suppression You need an audiologist to make an impression of your external auditory canal but nothing comes close to this level of comfort and protection.


So that you can still hear all those wonderful analog recordings after the leaves are down and gone.

Their in ear monitors are worth the price of admission ... small balanced headphone amp driven by a decent DAC like the Apogee Duet for those times when your neighbor is blowing his leaves....


To where do you blow your leaves?

In my day we used to gather the leaves with a rake into convenient piles and transport them in a wheelbarrow to a compost heap.

Even large areas can be cleared this way, and, there is a limit to the volume of leaves that can be blown.

Actually I prefer the "au naturel" approach!

Perhaps you should try moving to a country with less deciduous trees?

the "quite" ones are electric....I too didn't like the noise my gas echo blower made so I got a battery powered one..155 mph 300 CFM 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Jet Fan Blower, by Ryobi...works nice at about 1/3 the noise

Yesterday I spent five hours raking (with a rake) leaves as a fundraiser. Blowers have a place in the suburban landscape (not mine) but underpowered electric blowers do not.

Noise annoyance is the product of time in use times loudness. We had available an eight (!) horsepower Kawasaki blower on wheels that cleared a front yard in two passes. Its lower frequency noise was less annoying and it finished its job in minutes.

What happens if one doesn't blow one's leaves? Chaos?

Mulch is rotten leaves and it is good for the earth! You should leave them, besides the snow will cover them up pretty soon! God said " Be Still and know that I Am." He didn't say anything about blowing or raking leaves. Or washing the dishes for that matter!

Sad to say, you will soon learn that your excellent blower is no match for 2 acres of trees. Not that it's not a good blower it is, just over matched. You do need one to clear small areas around the house, and an electric one frees you from having to maintain a small gasoline engine.
You can't really leave the leaves where they fall or you end up with a slippery sodden mess.
The only way to move very large amounts of fallen leaves is the buddy system where several blower equipped friends work together to blow them onto a large tarp and then drag them somewhere.
Or once they have all fallen, rent a 7HP 'Little Wonder" walk behind blower for half a day each year.
You can compost them, but if it is just leaves (brown matter-high carbon) you need to add a source of nitrogen or you'll end up with a matted smelly mess.

We did that for years, but finally gave in to hiring a landscaper for Fall Clean-up

I sympathize. My wife and I live in a wooded area, on a little over 2 acres, about half of it trees and/or wetland. Neighbors on both sides of us seem machine-crazy. At this time of the year, one of them will begin early on a Saturday morning, and continue until dusk. As far as noise sensitivity, my wife can hear a GFI outlet's noise (I can't), her hearing being in the dog whistle range.

We've been here 16 years, and one year I just let the leaves remain, except on the driveway. After a few winter storms, they were all gone, blown into the woods. And that's a good thing, especially for your area, which might still be invasive European earthworm free. (Earthworms can devastate a sugar maple forest. See: http://greatlakeswormwatch.org/forest/index.html or http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/invasive-earthworms-denude-forests/ )

Now, I look at your pictures and think, "Future vegetables." I maintain four raised beds inside a deer-proof enclosure, and raise our vegetables organically. The primary soil amendment is compost, which I make from kitchen trimmings and pulled weeds, mixed with shredded tree leaves. Lots of shredded tree leaves. When I see the ground covered with leaves, it's time for the annual "leaf harvest," with electric leaf blower, a couple hundred feet of extension cord (the Monster Cable of yard work), and a good chipper/shredder with a bagger.

I must ask, Do you like lawns? It seems that those who really like lawns are the most obsessive about keeping them free of intrusions. Personally, I find lawns at best wasteful, if not perfectly ridiculous. Check out The Theory of the Leisure Class, by Thorstein Veblen. Essentially, a lawn is good pasture that one can afford to waste by not grazing it, and can afford to hire laborers to mow for you. I've reduced our original lawn area by about half, by declaring it a naturalization area. Even have an Audubon bird refuge sign on part of it.

Mike, you have 1.8 acres. How much of that area is grass, lawn grass?
Having seen a photograph of your
house, the lawn in front and to the side where the garage is and maybe the back garden should (notice it doesn't see need) be cleared of leaves. I don't know if your local municpality collects leaves or what. The rest of the property just leave alone. Leaves have been dropping yearly for many years before we graced this earth, and they shall continue to do so. Let the winter snows and cold do their thing. Come spring the leaves on the hillsides and elsewhere shall have matted, and maybe start to form mulch...just let nature take its course. Leaves covering lawns will turn that lawn eventually to soil, plant some native to New York State perennial wildflowers, the less grass you have to maintain the happier you and your neighbours and yes nature will be
as well.

Man, I totally understand the noise thing! Here on Long Island, it seems like no one does their own lawns. There's nothing like trying to have a peaceful eight in the morning breakfast, and hearing mowers, spin trimmers, and blowers! And this can be any day of the week, except Sunday.
I remember a time when all you heard, and generally on Saturdays; was the clack of the push mower, and brooms and rakes!
Those were the days!

I hate leaf blowers. I will never buy one. Since raking leaves is difficult for me (at least any significant quantity) I leave them be. They decay. They add nutrients to the lawn/veggie garden/compost.

Especially after I chop 'em up with my Troy-Bilt lawn tractor with mulching blade. That's a different kind of noise, and tolerable. I have to mow the law one last time anyway, right? Right then.

Is less power required to vacuum them up in shredder mode rather than blow them away?

You need more land. I have 14 acres of woods. I can clear all the leaves I care to with a rake, yes I have to do it a few times. But I let 99.9% stay.

The three big issues with leaf blowers are, in no particular order, Noise, Smell, and Dust.
Yours being electric cuts the noise down, if not out.
You living in a moist climate cuts the dust issue down.
But you using an electric unit completely eliminates the poisonous smell of the 2-cycle motor...something which your neighbors--if they are close enough---should thank you for.

With 1.8 acres, consider that the longer the extension cord, the more drop in amperage. Using an extension cord while coiled, there is even more drop in amperage. Sometimes enough to damage the tool being used.


"The National Wildlife Federation is encouraging homeowners to stop raking and simply “leave the leaves” on their lawn. The conservation organization, which strives “to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future,” said raking leaves does more harm than good — as it is bad for the environment..."
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2546214/national-wildlife-federation-leaves/#uMZcV4juURc1R0Lx.99

I do not pick up leaves out here,
I mulch them with my green John Deere
I shred them 'till they're nice and small
I always do this in the fall.

I let the winter snow and ice
turn them into beds for mice
And in the spring the April rains
save me all those pick-up pains.

Here's a suggestion: Don't rake the leaves. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2015/1105/Leave-the-leaves-How-doing-less-yard-work-helps-the-environment

This hit a nerve with me. I live in a suburb and it is usually too hot in the summer to sit out on the deck. On those rare occasions in the morning or evening when it is nice to sit out, there is always some power tool roaring in the neighborhood, lawn mower, leaf blower, etc. I got so tired of being forced indoors by the noise that I thought I would put on ear phones and listen to music from my smart phone. Even with the volume cranked up full, in which case the phone gives me a warning that listening to loud music for prolonged periods of time can damage my hearing, I still cannot hear the music over the power lawn equipment noise! How loud is it that a leaf blower at 100 yards is still louder than earbuds stuck in my ears at full volume?

Then again, leaves are the best mulch you can get. leave em lay. Unless you really like the thought of buying a weedeater next spring!

A million people may have sent you this link already, but just in case :


Oh, Mike. I fear you're about to head down a very familiar road. Just replace "tripod" with "leaf blower" and I think you'll see where I'm going with this. You see I, too, needed to move a big bunch of leaves, and it took me two or three handheld leaf blowers before I realized that the only way to move masses of leaves was with the Gitzo or the Really Right Stuff of leaf relocation devices--the Billy Goat. Either the vacuum or the walk behind blower. You can make leaf mountains (not just piles) with these things.

There's a solution for that, as they say: the riding mower monster leaf bag (it also works with other noisy blowing/shredding devices) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LCM4BA
And, to go with it, the 34db Shooters Hearing Protection ear muffs:
And Amazon will even give you free shipping for your 48-inch 24 HP Husqvarna Yard Tractor!
You also need a cape to wear so you are dressed appropriately as the Lord of the Land

Nice photo, Mike! And if that is your new home, you have a nice one indeed.

the magical word for today is "hearing protection". while working with that machine from hell, wear some ear plugs. uncomfortable, but still better than noise.




you know, for millions of years leaves where falling from the trees in autumn and nobody collected them or blew them away. so why bother now? ;-)

Leaf blowers - do they actually blow leaves away or are they an outdoor vacuum cleaner which pick them up?
Either way, it's either a stupid name or a stupid idea.

What's wrong with one of these? Does the same job and you also get a work-out?


You bought a leaf blower???????? WTH? I rake leaves. Then I convert them to carbon quickly. You must be having a mid-life crisis. I'd expect you to buy one of those leaf sucking attachments for your lawn tractor. Then a hippie like yerself could mulch the leaves and convert them to carbon much more slowly. LOL But..... why not just leave, the leaves where they are? heheheheheeheheh.

Use of leaf blowers in suburban neighbourhoods raises all kinds of dust into the air from streets and curbs, and a lot of that is dried animal feces.

You should let the leaves in the woods rot. In a few million years, you'll get oil.

Ever see the Tim Robbins movie "Noise"? You might enjoy it.

Ever hear of a rake? You can get really big ones. Good exercise and much faster than a leaf blower. Sorry, Mike, but leaf blowers suck as much as they blow.

Noise... In British cities, population density is high and nearly everyone lives in a flat or a terrace or a "semi-detached" house (described to me once by a builder as "a perfectly decent-sized family home, cut in half"). Noise from neighbours is a permanent condition, not least because most of the housing stock was built before amplified sound became a factor. Never mind leaf-blowers (more likely lawn-mowers, here), a neighbour with a loud TV or even a persistent cough can drive you to distraction. Your neighbours are living under the same roof!


Mike, the quietest leaf blower I can recommend you is this special device called ‘rake’. Also, it is the cheapest and it lets you do exercise for free!

I just did a search for cordless leaf blowers, and there are a bunch of choices. You could by one and an extra battery. I do not know how much noise they make, but I would bet they are way softer than any motor blower. Plus you do not have to have gas and oil stored in you shop. just a thought...one more thing I just read about, charge both batteries and rotate there use. Stored batteries will still die from lack of use.

I realize that, for a number of reasons, one needs to remove fallen leafs from one's property. But I love leaves and wish I could leave them where they land throughout most of autumn, raking or blowing them away only after Thanksgiving but before the first snowfall.

We just leave 'em. Poor little leaves, they never harmed nobody. They have always vanished by springtime. (?!)

We recently replaced some windows on the front of our house with thicker, more noise attenuating windows. Ahhhhh.

My bugbear: NYC subway turnstiles that beep in sliiightly different pitches. I mean, Whiskey_Tango-Foxtrot people! What sadist manufacturers adjacent civic beeps audible by thousands that disagree by less than a 1/4 tone? Aaarrrg!

/rant off

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