Take It or Leaf It

Take It or Leaf It

by Chana Weinman

A new trend has thieves roaming suburban neighborhoods looking for bags of leaves to steal. 

While stealing is stealing, ends up there aren't too many people who mind when someone picks up their bags of leaves and carts them home, especially now that the towns and villages are no longer picking them up from the curb for them. 

While most homeowners work to blow, bag, and banish every leaf from their pristine lawn before the first snowfall, leaf collectors who are proponents of the 2014 "Leaf the Leaves' slogan want those very same leaves left alone in the yard and for various reasons.  

Discarded leaves provide winter habitat for insects, including butterflies, toads, birds, and other living things. Leaves naturally decompose, providing free mulch and fertilizer while retaining moisture for the trees and plants they cover. 

While some firmly believe leaves can smother grassy lawns, spread plant diseases, or host ticks as part of their insect population, the leaves don't have to be left on the lawn. Instead, they can be used as mulch for trees and shrub beds. 

And since most lawns can do with more when it comes to mulch and fertilizer, enter the leaf lifters, who help themselves to those brown bags near the cub, proving in a rather original way that one man's trash can indeed be another man's treasure. 

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