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Under Newton’s new leaf blower ordinance, gas powered leaf blowers cannot be used from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

But the legislation also includes this provision:

During times of emergency caused by a storm or other special circumstance, the Mayor or his designee may temporarily suspend application of all or a portion of this section for purposes of cleaning up from such storm or other special circumstance.

Based on what I’ve been reading about the giant tar spot virus, this seems to be one of those times when Mayor Warren should make an exception.  This is not an argument against the ban itself but specifically because experts are recommending that the best way to keep the virus from reinfecting next year is by removing the leaves (and not composting them either).

This is from the website Green Living….

To avoid the spread of fungal spores it is best to rake the affected leaves this fall. Destroy the leaves or remove them from your yard by bagging them for municipal collection. If you ignore tar spot and allow the fallen leaves to remain on the ground through the winter, your maples will develop tar spot again next year. If, however, you remove the infected leaves from the area you reduce the chances of the tree being infected the following year. After three years of diligently raking the fallen leaves around my maple tree, this was the first year it did not show signs of tar spot infection.

and this from WCVB

Experts suggest rake up the leaves as you would in fall, but recommend getting rid of the diseased leaves so the spores aren’t sitting around next year.

Many Newton lawns and parks are already covered with fallen leaves from maples affected by this fungus.  And, yes, allowing gas blowers to operate across the city two weeks earlier may make these final days of summer a little less pleasant.   But if there’s a long term benefit to the health of our trees to removing these leaves from our properties then shouldn’t we make removing these leaves as easy as possible? 

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