2020 Leaf Campaign Update – Week #3

Photo above taken Saturday a.m., Nov. 14th. Only 2% of the leaves are still on the oak trees

Wow! What a week!

Week #3 of the 2020 Leaf Campaign began as normal.

Monday, Nov. 9Four tarpfulls hauled to the curb

However, a seven-day stretch of unusually warm, dry, sunny weather had accelerated the “abscission” process, and the oak trees began prematurely shedding their leaves en masse, in numbers I’ve never seen before. The result…

Tuesday, Nov. 10Nine tarpfulls to the curb. I also cleared the roof, gutters, and front yard.

Wednesday, Nov. 11 – Seventeen tarpfulls. Yes, folks, seventeen! In my sixteen seasons of removing the leaves from this property, I had never before hauled so many leaves in one day. I believe my previous one-day record was thirteen. I also cleared the roof, gutters, and front yard.

After dragging twenty-six tarpfulls of leaves to the curb in two days, I was physically spent, to put it mildly, and took Thursday off.

Friday, Nov. 13 – Four tarpfulls. I also cleared the roof, gutters, and front yard.

Number of tarpfulls, week #3 = 34
Total number of tarpfulls to date = 59
Percentage of leaf campaign completed to date = 98%

Because of the unanticipated early leaf fall precipitated by the unusual weather conditions, the 2020 Leaf Campaign is almost complete, three full weeks ahead of schedule! Unbelievable!

Leaf campaign trivia: Besides removing the leaves from the lawn, the other problem with living in a house amidst so many oak trees is that the gutters constantly fill up with leaves in the Fall and with catkins in the Spring. If a rain comes and the gutters are not cleaned out, the downspouts become clogged and the rainwater seeps over the gutters. We have one particular stretch of gutter where the rainwater seeps over and down into the basement window wells and the next thing you know, I’m removing rainwater from the basement floor with a wet vac. But climbing an extension ladder and getting up on the roof and cleaning out the gutters with a handheld electric blower is dangerous for a young guy, let alone a 64-year-old. My wife keeps nagging me, er, I mean, lovingly warning me to stay off the roof and have gutter guards installed. But gutter guards have mixed reviews. They’re expensive, they don’t keep out all of the leaf and catkin material, and they limit water intake in a heavy downpour. What to do? This is a problem that won’t go away and only get’s more dangerous for every year that I age.

Above: Yup, that’s me corralling leaves in our backyard this past week with my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower.

28 thoughts on “2020 Leaf Campaign Update – Week #3

    1. Thanks, Beth! Phew! I’m glad it’s pretty much over with and especially so early! The fact that the leaves were extremely dry because of the unusual conditions was a HUGE help. I didn’t have to strain so hard when I dragged the tarps.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I love these updates! Praise God you are ahead of schedule!!! Do you put Christmas lights outside?! I have been trying to convince Nathan that we (he) should do so this year. Now that the weather is becoming more seasonal I may change my mind on that again!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Mandy! It’s such a good feeling to have almost all of the leaves processed so early. My wife likes to put up lights, but we’ve put up fewer and fewer as the years roll by. We now limit it to the lamp pole and the two rail fence sections that you partially see in the photo to the right.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have a beautiful yard!!! Your pictures bring a smile to my face. I had a local nursery plant 14 trees for me this year (6 Giant Green Arborvitaes, 2 White Spruce, 3 Serbian Spruce, 1 Autumn Brilliance/service berry, 1 Okame Cherry and 1 autumn blaze maple). We also have a really nice Willow in the middle of the yard, which existed when we bought the house.

        I’m thinking your sons are close to the same age as me. If you have any interest in knowing, my love for trees began when I was in elementary school in 1989, second grade for earth day they McDonald’s gave elementary school students tiny blue spruce trees. I planted mine in my mom’s front yard mulch bed and wouldn’t you know it lived! In the early 1990s my mom had the spruce moved to another part of her yard. By the time she sold her house in 2016 that blue spruce was 30 ft tall! My mom was sure that tree wouldn’t live! I’m glad God had other plans!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Mandy! I enjoyed reading about your tree plantings and “dendrophilia” in general. Hey, I learned a new word! We’ve regrettably had 6 large trees removed over the years because they were either way past their prime or too close to the house. Very expensive. One of the limbs from our neighbor’s tree came down in a windstorm onto our roof two years ago and did considerable damage. That’s neat about the tree you planted in second grade. That evergreen on the right side of the top photo was only 5′ tall when we planted it in 2008 and it’s now over 20′.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey, Papa Tom! I do love trees, never heard of dendrophilia before!!! My arborvitaes were planted at 14-16ft I will be well pleased if they grow closer to 40ft. Our neighbors are proving to be unnecessarily nosy so I will be glad for the privacy. They are nice people I just want space. Things you don’t know until you move in!!!That’s amazing how in 12 years your tree is 20+ feet! My mom had trees removed and I can’t believe the expense!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We planted five small evergreens twelve years ago in the back of our lot that are finally getting big enough to provide some privacy. Yeah, we paid $2K to remove one oak maybe 10 years ago. Always glad to talk trees and leaves. 🌳🌲🍂🍁

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We have a neighbor who used PVC piping to make a custom leaf blower extension that reaches above the gutter-line and blows downward into the gutters and does a credible job of clearing them out. Only good for a single story home, but something to consider, perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Craig. I actually bought an extension kit from Amazon a couple of years ago for that purpose that I rigged up to the backpack blower wand but the combination proved to be too unwieldy because the backpack is a bear, BUT it might work with a lighter, handheld blower. I’ll pursue it. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, your lawn has a full leaf carpet! And u wonder from seeing commercials, would those gutter Leaf Filter things be helpful? I’m with your wife, dont go up on the roof, stay below with the leaves! 🍁🍃🍂🍁🍂🍃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth. Yup, there would be a one-foot (at least) carpet of leaves covering the entire yard if I didn’t remove them. I’ve looked at the Leaf Filter systems and there’s pros and cons. There’s a blower-wand option that can be used while standing on the ground. I tried it with the backpack blower and it was too unwieldy, but a handheld blower would probably work. Will try it next Spring.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow this week you accomplished a lot; so much measurements and metrics! I think we are similar in that regards; given the risk as you get older is it possible to hire neighborhood boys or young men to do this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad it’s mostly done. What a bear. Last year at this time I was saying we were going to put the house up for sale in 2021 because I was so exhausted. Doing much better this year. The leaves were so dry that dragging the tarps was much easier.

      RE: measurements and metrics
      I can get obnoxiously nerdy. Who else turns yardwork into a complicated battle plan?

      RE: risk cleaning gutters
      Thanks for the suggestion but I’d be nervous about sending teens or young men up on the roof since it’s so dangerous and has to be done so frequently. Blogger Craig recommended a wand extension hooked up to the blower to clean out the gutters while standing on the ground. I actually bought a wand extension kit from Amazon last year and used it with my backpack blower, but it was WAY too unwieldy and cumbersome. I’m thinking that it might work with a smaller, handheld blower. I’m going to pursue that. That could be the solution .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow the roof does sound scary to send anyone upon it. Still remember about a year or two ago falling from cutting a tree at roof length. I don’t recover as fast as I did when we fell in the Marines lol

        Liked by 1 person

  5. If you live in New York and you want your kids to go to school the Roman Catholic schools will take you !! ☹️ Parents are so desperate to get their kids in school so they can work that they are not even thinking about the “religious” food they will be fed… 💔😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, I saw that headline. Sad. Reminds me of a chapter in Polish history when the Gospel spread through the Polish nobility due to the Reformation and many were saved, but the Jesuits quickly established schools in Poland as part of the Counter-Reformation, and Christian parents unwittingly sent their children to those schools, and the children were “converted” to Catholicism.

      Liked by 1 person

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