When Every Leaf is a Flower: Rental Property Landscaping Tips for Fall

Trees are a great amenity in a rental property landscaping plan, especially if they are planted in spaces available for residents to enjoy. Trees offer shade and room for recreation in green spaces, and when used with other colorful landscaping, make your property stand out year round. Most rental property landscaping tips show up on blogs like ours in the Spring, when planting and gardening is on everyone’s mind. However one of the most important maintenance tasks happens in late Fall and early Winter when trees start to shed worse than any of your residents’ pets.

They’re just leaves, what harm can they do?

Trees add curb appeal to a rental, but have recurring maintenance needs.
Trees add curb appeal to a rental, but have recurring maintenance needs.

In areas where deciduous and semi-deciduous trees are common, the beginning of Fall is synonymous with beautiful displays of changing leaves. But when those leaves start to drop, they can cause big problems for property managers if they aren’t disposed of properly. While a yard full of red, yellow, brown, and gold makes for a lovely backdrop for holiday photos, those same leaves left unattended will make Spring landscaping and cleanup a costly, cumbersome task. Proper and timely leaf clean up is necessary to keep walkways clear and free of decaying organic matter and to maintain outdoor recreation areas such as pools or tennis courts. A blanket of leaves on a lawn generates heat as it decays and is a breeding ground for fungus that can kill grass and sod. Being conscientious about leaf cleanup in the Fall and Winter prevents costly rental property landscaping services in the Spring.

Know when your trees will get naked

Not all trees lose their leaves at the same time in similar volume. Different species of tree drop leaves at different points in the season, and some will hold onto their leaves until new growth begins in early Spring. Knowing the projected leaf drop dates for the trees on a property allows you to plan ahead for landscaping services. Some species, like the Japanese maple, drop their leaves in late November just before Winter sets in. While others, like beech and oak trees, keep some of their leaves until late Spring. Planting the same varieties of trees and shrubs makes cleanup easier, whereas a property with multiple types of trees might make leaf cleanup a five or six month job.

Leaf pickup is an essential part of apartment landscaping.
Have a plan for leaf pickup before the turf war is upon you.

Plan ahead for easier upkeep

Property managers and owners can plan ahead to enjoy a splash of seasonal color while avoiding heavy leaf cleanup. Plant evergreen tree varieties around high traffic areas such as pools, walkways, and leasing offices. Or avoid planting trees in those areas, opting instead for low maintenance shrubs or flowers beds. Consult an arborist or local landscaping professional during the development stages of a multi-unit property in order to choose trees that will take less work to maintain and are well suited to the local climate.

About the author

Elizabeth Hayes


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  • I really enjoyed reading this post. I just started a landscaping business and it has been great to see so many helpful resources on the internet! This blog was particularly interesting because you broke everything down into small details that are easy for me as an inexperienced entrepreneur to understand.

By Elizabeth Hayes

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