To Rake or Not to Rake: The Case of the Falling Leaves

Ask anyone in the Northern Colorado area what their weekend plans entail and a lot of the answers will be: I’m going to see the colors!


The colors, of course, refers to the annual changing of the leaves as summer fades into fall. Beautiful and enigmatic with the lessening days and silent nights, autumn enchants many of us. Heading to the mountains for a day of eye-catching arrays is a tradition for many Northern Coloradoans before the snow and cold drive us indoors (or to the ski slopes!).




The leaves are amazing to see, no doubt about it. But the changing colors of the leaves is actually a sign they are dying (morbid, right?). Their job of producing food or chlorophyll for the trees is over for the year and they will be replaced in the spring. The shutting down of production of chlorophyll is a survival tactic for the tree which does not waste energy in the winter trying to produce food. The leaves will slowly detach from the twig or branch and fall. And where do leaves fall? Right in our backyards.




Let’s bust this myth first: dead leaves on the lawn does not kill your lawn. In fact, these dead leaves if left will often serve as a natural mulch and will protect the soil around your trees, shrubs, or garden. Research shows (yes, someone actually studied this) that leaving the leaves in your yard not only does your lawn no harm; it can actually impede weed growth.

So why do we rake our leaves?


  • It’s great fun for the kids and dogs! Jumping in a pile of leaves is many people’s fondest fall memories as a child. Why ruin that?
  • Your yard will be left looking nice and tidy for the winter and fall.
  • Composting your leaves is great for the environment.
  • Too many dead leaves are a haven for bugs, critters, and snakes, which could turn into spring pests.
  • Too many dead leaves can prevent new lawn growth in the fall, especially if they are matted down by the rain and snow.
  • Leaves, on the other hand, can be perfect bedding for squirrels and the seeds that fall in the autumn from some trees are perfect winter food sources as well for our backyard buddies.




The key here is the optimal amount of leaves left on the lawn. You don’t want to stifle growth, but you also want to provide habitat and shelter for wanted critters.


As a property management company in Fort Collins, Colorado, Mountain-N-Plains Real property management recommends renters adhere to the homeowner’s desires. As we’ve laid out, there are pros and cons to both sides of this story. However, the property owner is the one who is ultimately responsible for the maintenance of the property. Sometimes homeowner associations have expressed desires as well that must be adhered to.


Fall is an amazing time here in Fort Collins, Colorado. If you’re a renter looking to rent a home in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, or any of our other amazing Northern Colorado towns, contact Mountain-N-Plains Real Estate Services today. We have a great variety of rental properties available for both families and students and have amazing relationships with our homeowners as well. We’re proud to be a Top Rated Local® real estate company in Northern Colorado. Visit us online today for all of our available properties!