It hurts to let summer go. But Mother Nature offers us a big treat to ease the pain —
It’s so sublime — with its blaze of colors taking weeks to complete — that some of us are desperate to photograph it.
Others can’t wait to walk, bike, or drive Long Island’s trails and byways to watch the leaves change.
Without throwing too many wet blankets on Nature’s gift, just remember that these colorful leaves — glorious as they are —
will be falling to the ground before we know it.
And that means…
drum roll please…
Fall maintenance clean up!
“Taking care of fallen leaves is one of a variety of chores worth your time,” says Deck and Patio’s owner, Dave Stockwell.
Leaf tannin stains pavers, concrete, and decks. It is better — and easier — to remove the leaves than to seal your decks and patios. Sealers need to be constantly redone, which turns into a lot of maintenance.
“It’s also important to keep leaves off the grass,” says Dave. “Healthy grass can get matted down, and in winter, when it needs sunlight and oxygen, this could be a problem.”
This is a good time of year to cut any dead tree limbs away, so that coming snow or ice storms won’t cause them to crack and fall. Falling limbs can result in accidents to people, cars, and homes.
One way to predict future problems is to look up the tree carefully before the leaves have fallen. Any branches completely bare of leaves indicate they should be cut off. Also check to see if any low-hanging branches are near power lines; trim these so the weight of snow or ice won’t pull them dow into the wiring.
To prep your driveway and walkway for winter, it’s helpful to get supplied with fiberglass stakes (sometimes called “plow stakes” or “snow stakes”) for placing along your driveway in advance of the first snow storm.
You position the stakes to indicate where any costly Belgium Block or other edging could be damaged from snow plows. One end of the stake is pointed for easy insertion in the ground. Also, they come in different colors and you can let a particular color indicate, for example, where a fire hydrant is, the regular curb, your driveway entrance, etc.
As you can see from the above chart from NY State’s Division of Tourism, I Love NY foliage page, Long Islanders have a bit of time yet before peak foliage to schedule our outdoor maintenance — and our fall foliage activities as well.
This also means, if you have a pond, there’s time left to get netting to protect it from fallen debris.