You might not think so, but autumn is right around the corner. Can’t you already feel that chill in the air? And were only a few short weeks from putting out the pumpkins and celebrating Halloween. Autumn is a season that brings a number of unique challenges to grounds maintenance crews, but there’s one that keeps us busy right through until the first daffodils of spring – leaves. They might be small, but they quickly add up, and before you know it they can cause a lot of issues for your businesses. So before they have a chance to fall in any great number, now is the time to get ahead of them.
The Hidden Danger of Leaves
While they may look pretty, once leaves have fallen from their tree they can present some pretty significant risks to your business, including:
Slip hazards: Haven’t we all skidded on a patch of wet leaves and lost our footing at one point or another? It’s all too easy to do, but if an employee, supplier or customer does it on your property and gets injured, you are unfortunately liable for that. It’s your duty as a business to ensure the safety of all people on your premises, which includes removing trip and slip hazards where possible.
Pest attraction: As we mentioned in one of our previous blogs, leaf piles are very attractive to pests. From rodents to spiders and insects, creatures great and small are looking for a place to shelter from the cold. Leaves make great nesting material for them, as well as a rich food source for insects as they start to break down and decompose. So having a lot of leaves on the ground around your property will act like a magnet for pests, which could cost you more in the long term.
Hiding Hazards: As well as being a hazard in their own right, leaves can hide other hazards from view until it’s too late. In the colder months, rain water can pool on and under leaves and freeze overnight, creating a hidden ice rink. This isn’t just a slip hazard for pedestrians, but for cars and even work equipment as well. Piles of leaves can also hide potential hazards like potholes, broken glass, standing water or damaged fencing.
Proper Leaf Maintenance
The key to getting ahead of leaf problems is to be proactive and get a maintenance plan in place. This means surveying your grounds to get an idea of how many trees you have, where they are situated, and what the best way to manage them would be. The type of tree is also important, as certain trees shed their leaves at different times of year, so you will need to include this in your plan. Your leaf maintenance plan should include all pathways, driveways, car parks, fences and lawn areas, so that every part of your grounds can be properly taken care of. The frequency of your plan will depend on the type of business you run, the size of your grounds and the number of trees you have. Some businesses will require weekly clearance, while others might only need fortnightly or even monthly clearance. You will also need to give some thought to what will happen to your leaves once they have been collected. Some grounds maintenance companies (like us) will be licenced to take them to a waste disposal centre for you, while others will leave them in bags for you to dispose of yourself. This is an important part of deciding whether you want to handle leaf clearance in house, or outsource it to a professional grounds maintenance company.
At Pod Landscapes leaf clearance is one of our most common jobs at this time of year. Leaves keep us busy all winter round, but the work starts now. Because while most trees are still looking green, many are already starting to shed the first of their leaves, and before you know it you’ll have a flurry of them settling on your grass and in your car parks. So before that happens, get in touch to book your free, no-obligation consultation and get your leaf clearance plan in place. We can offer a regular leaf clearance service that includes safe and regulated disposal, so you never need to worry about leaves on your property again.