ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s that time of year when the leaves are not only changing colors, but now they’re starting to fall. As lawns and roads continue to get covered by colorful leaves throughout the fall season, this can create an increased risk of flooding in roadways.

As the leaves on the trees continue to change color it can surely be a pretty sight, but once those leaves fall to the ground it can be problematic for your lawn if the leaves aren’t taken care of properly. Lawn care expert and co-owner of Brockman Tree & Lawn Care Wayne Brockman recommends doing any leaf removal yourself as some towns differ in what services they offer and to not wait until next spring to do so. 

“If you leave the debris in the lawn for the winter you potentially damage the lawn come spring. It’s a lot more labor intensive to take care of it in the spring and then you have the damage to, you know, the grass that gets killed off from the leaves staying on the lawn,” Wayne said.

Wayne said, depending on the lay of the land, any leaves that are left out in the streets can end up clogging storm drains making it easier for roads to flood.

“It’s ideal not to leave your pile along the road covering those drains because if we get lots of rain that poses another problem…If you leave the leaves unattended for a long period and they get matted down from the rain and such it becomes a lot harder just to blow ‘em. If they’re dry and just laying on top of the lawn it’s very easy to blow, vacuum, and no real need to rake,” Wayne said.

Remember that if you do use a leaf blower instead of a rake to get the job done, make sure they don’t all end up in the road and gutters by your home. If you spot a clogged storm drain you can scoop up the debris, place it in the proper waste container and wait for your yard waste service to come to pick it up.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendlier way to remove leaves from your yard, rather than putting your leaves in a barrel and burning them, consider mowing, composting, or bagging them instead.