oak leaves. what to do

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by boxman, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. boxman

    boxman LawnSite Member
    from fl
    Posts: 5

    I have a question for some of you guys in Florida. It seems like I've been dealing with oak leaves for a solid six months and on some accounts have been eating the the extra time involved. My question is how do you deal with the leaves that start falling in October and are just now ending, not to mention all the pollen that is now making such a mess. Do you figure it in the sevice price or do you charge extra? I can't see just giving time to people. If they don't pay, let the leaves build up? I need help with this because I've been givig some time away and don't like it!
  2. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    Honestly I just mulch them. We do not have enough leaves to justify purchasing a set up like the guys up north.

    No one will pay you waht you need to rake them so I just leave them and mulch. The pollen is really bad this year. Count was 2735 the other day. I still just cut and blow the junk.

    BTW no one here rakes it up either.
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    On your contract form, make leaf clean up an added option. If they take it, great. If they don't, run the mower over them and leave the place looking like schit.

    That's what I do.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  4. culand

    culand LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    I have a better answer for you. We use a GATOR BLADE ( from Agri Supply) which has a built in mulcher on the blade. Running over the leaves will mulch them to small pieces and after you pass over them each time you mow they will become organic matter. These blades will leave your lawn slick with no cut marks from a stander blade (.32 thick). We use them in the fall [EAST TEXAS] and by spring they didn't even know they have leaves . Summer cuts , you do not have to lawn rake your grass.:cool: I can tell you my lawns don't look like trash.


    LANDSCAPE and LAWN CARE of ET :cool2:
  5. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    I am in NC and in the same situation you are. There are several different leaf drops, the latest which is occuring now is from the live oaks dropping their leaves from last season so the new leaves can come in. I have learned that people will not ussually want to pay extra for leaf clean-up and think that it should be part of their regular maintenance service. What I now do is come up with an average price for the year when estimating properties. Basically I price in leaf clean-up over the year, for accounts that are not on an annual contract that do not want service over the winter months I will charge an initial spring clean-up charge. Hope this helps, and I am intersted to see what others do.
  6. greensideup

    greensideup LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    We charge extra whenever there is more than can be mulched. The oak leaves are absolutely horrible right now. In 1 day it looks like we never touched the yard. You HAVE to charge extra for this. We usually use the bagger or blow them into piles. The more bags, the more we charge. Of course someone will complain. I tell them, OK, if you have all the leabes raked up when we arrive at our mowing day, there will be no extra charge. That usually gets the point across. Scott
  7. boxman

    boxman LawnSite Member
    from fl
    Posts: 5

    Thank you all for responding. It's nice to know I'm not alone with this problem. I'm just going into my second season after a 20 year hiatus and honestly don't remember the leaf thing. Now I know that I must charge extra or lose some accounts. Also am going to try the gator blades. Thanks again.
  8. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    Yea you just have to keep that in mind when bidding properties.

    We mulch alot of them but you can only mulch so much before you have a 2" layer of mulched leaves on the turf. And then blows right back in the parking lot by next week. So sometimes the only thing you can do is vacume or rake them up

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