Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by SteveHGraham » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:58 am

I'll bet I could get someone to suck these leaves up for $150, and I don't think I'll live here long enough to justify a $1500 buy. Maybe a used one, though.

The leaf sweeper works. I just can't get rid of the leaves once I pick them up. I can either burn them or turn a huge area of my farm into a deep leaf pile, which would be an eyesore and fire hazard.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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BadDog
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by BadDog » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:32 pm

Yeah, I looked into larger units, 3 point units, PTO drive, etc. All were way out of my cost/value range for my property. The one I got is (I think) a large cut above the typical plastic feeder Craftsman (plastic!) and the like, pretty much at the upper end of something with some capability in that size/cost, and were showing up frequently on the sales sites for cheap money.

If you've got a garden, or plans for one, once they go through one of these shredder/mulchers, you can just spread it on the garden, or compost them then spread. I use a lot of mine for mulching my fruit tree water soaking wells. When it composts down (not long with the flood/water cycles), I always have a new batch. I also send some to my composters. Unfortunately some leaves don't work well for that, like Eucalyptus and Mesquite, due to chemical composition, but that remaining quantity is small enough to easily work into trash or "bulk pickup" (quarterly). Divide and conquer!
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steamin10
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by steamin10 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:54 pm

I feel your pain on the leaves. We have a few Black Walnut trees that we cherish, but mulching the leaves or husks only concentrates the problem of being toxic to just about anything that grows. The other trees that we cut were very large cotton wood that died and threatened the buildings with dead falls. One measured nearly 5 feet across the stump. I never had a grinder but wore out the gearbox on a sweeper that had a tipper rope. Circle the yard and dump the bag from the seat. After about 10 years of use it rattled apart beyond creative repair.

We had taken to using an oil tank on end to build a furnace/burner to dispose of yard waste, with its walkway grating floor, but that has rotted away now, and needs something to replace its function. I am leery of having anything that gets fired off, and left untended. That is a reserve for a disaster. The area of the burner has turned into an unkempt spot just waiting to bite me.
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warmstrong1955
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:09 am

Here is another chance for you to be famous Steve.....by combining some ideas here....

An oak leaf burning, steam powered, lawn vacuum!
Call it....the Grahaminator. Available options could include a barbecue attachment.

;)
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

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Craig
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by Craig » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:21 pm

We have been using a Cyclone Rake ( Commerical model ) behind a zero turn mover on a 3 acre yard for 14 plus years. I can guantee it is worth the price. I had problems with the Vanguard motor and I adapted a Honda to it. We blow leaves out of the flower beds on the grass and vac them up as we mow the lawn. We run it on the concrete, asphalt surface and even lift the mover deck up and run down the 7 1/2” rr tracks to vac leaves. We average about 1 1/2 hours useage per week. The frame work is a little flimsy but nothing has broken in an estimated 1100 useage. I do have to tighten bolts around the hitch area occasionally. The mower mulches the leaves and the Cyclone vac further breaks down the leaves. If the refuge is very wet it becomes very hard to make turn when it get close to full, dump time. It will even pickup wet leaves in the rain. We dump the refuge in our field and disc it in. In my cause the labor saving has paid for it several times over. I tried the mover with a bag, the pull behind sweeper while they all worked the vac is much better.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:39 pm

I'm having someone give me an estimate on sucking the leaves up. Very curious to see what he says.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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ctwo
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by ctwo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:04 pm

We have live oak trees and we just leave the leaves where they lay. There seems to be a good balance in place now with the leaves covering the ground and the rotting layers beneath. The leaves that make it to the lawn are mowed up and put into the mulch with the lawn clippings. It's been this way for thousands of years (OK, the oldest tree was estimated at somewhere over 100 years, but you know...)
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by SteveHGraham » Tue May 14, 2019 6:33 pm

My leaf problem is solved.

I started making progress last month. I bought a harrow and dragged it around to loosen the leaves. I had been using a leaf sweeper and dumping the leaves in the woods (least-bad solution), but it left too many leaves behind. The harrow lifted them up and made the sweeper more effective.

It occurred to me that if the harrow was making leaves accessible to the sweeper, it might do the same thing for a big blower. My old backpack blower is rated at 600 CFM and 145 mph, which looked good when I compared it to other blowers. I ordered a new blower that pumps 1100 CFM at over 200 mph. Totally different. I don't even need the harrow. This thing will dig holes if I want it to. It rips the leaves up and hurls them, even if they're wet and matted. It moves fallen branches. It's scary.

The blower doesn't get every leaf, because I have so much crap packed into the yard, but it gets maybe 80%. That should improve once I'm using it regularly.

I made a big pile and used a snow shovel to fill the bed of my utility cart. I can see my yard again.
05 14 19 Echo blower utility cart and leaves small.jpg
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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liveaboard
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by liveaboard » Wed May 15, 2019 4:00 am

I need to collect clippings after cutting my monster hedge; so I built a machine.
After a lot of time + money spent, it doesn't work.
It lifts and tilts and spins as designed; it's the brush that doesn't do what's expected of it.
Maybe I'll get it to work someday.
Just thought I'd throw in a cautionary tale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUO8YPKv5iE

I actually took this video to demonstrate the total failure of the thing, but then the worst happened; it sort of worked.
So instead of scrapping it, it's taking up space waiting for more attention.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed May 15, 2019 8:59 am

That's an amazing piece of work.

I don't know if you're familiar with leaf sweepers. They use rotating helical brushes. Very effective, believe it or not. The brush on my sweeper even picks up sticks. Steel tines may not be the best answer. I don't know how easy it would be to make a brush.

The big problem with using a sweeper on my property is that Spanish moss falls on the ground all the time. It wraps around the sweeper axles and binds them, so I have to stop sweeping over and over and pull it off with pliers.

Your machine wouldn't be of any use here. The holes in the netting are bigger than most of my leaves, and there are no sides to the machine, so a lot of the leaves would fall out.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

Harold_V
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by Harold_V » Wed May 15, 2019 3:09 pm

So you'd just make the netting from expanded metal, and add sides. His idea is quite good, in fact.

H
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed May 15, 2019 3:47 pm

I agree. I think his only problems are the hard tines and the lack of sides, unless he deals with small leaves.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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