Leaves on public roads quickly become a source of danger. Property owners are obliged to remove fallen leaves or delegate this task to tenants or garden service providers. If required, collection points for leaves are available.

Slippery ground due to too many leaves

When leaves on trees change color in autumn, this sight casts a spell over people. If the leaves on the ground absorb too much moisture, the subsoil quickly becomes a danger for cyclists and pedestrians.

The damp leaves create a slippery layer.

For this reason, municipalities and city administrations are obliged to allow pedestrians to walk safely on sidewalks and streets. However, by statute it is possible to transfer this obligation to homeowners.

Slippery ground due to too many leaves – Image: © MP2 #174202219 stock.adobe.com

Obligations of property owners

Similar to snowfall, the rule applies that owners must keep sidewalks in front of their properties clean. This task can be transferred to professional cleaning services or tenants by means of a rental agreement.
If landlords or property owners commission a professional cleaning service with the task, tenants usually have to pay for this service through ancillary costs.

Similar to snowfall, the rule applies that owners must keep sidewalks in front of their properties clean – Image: © juefraphoto #145779684 stock.adobe.com

Getting rid of foliage: proven methods

For removing leaves from sidewalks various leaf blowers suitable. However, property owners should be aware that these devices require electricity or gas and are relatively noisy.

According to the noise protection ordinance, leaf blowers may only be used on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Eco-labelled quiet devices are allowed non-stop from 7am to 8pm. Alternatively, garden or property owners can use a rake or a broom.

Not a complete leaf layer on paths

In this country, however, it is not necessary to clear public paths of leaves around the clock. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on workdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays. Those who want to be on the safe side can contact their own municipality and inquire about local guidelines.

There is no clear answer to the question of how many leaves can remain on public paths after cleaning. After all, it is almost impossible to completely remove the foliage. The permissible level is definitely exceeded when a complete layer of leaves develops on the paths. If there is an increased risk of slipping in the rain or after a frosty night, it is also essential to remove the leaves quickly.

In this country, however, it is not necessary to clear public paths of leaves around the clock – Image: © Jürgen Fälchle #45879330 stock.adobe.com

Leaves from the neighboring tree: what to do?

Discussions among neighbors are often inevitable when the foliage does not come from your own tree but from neighboring properties.

Nevertheless, those responsible for the formation of leaves are not obliged to remove the leaves. In general, property owners must sweep away the leaves that have the leaves on their belongings. (More on the topic: Avoiding neighborhood disputes: Who has to remove leaves from the neighboring tree?)

Tips on how to dispose of the leaves

If the trees lose their leaves in autumn, considerable amounts accumulate within a short time.

However, because the capacity of the organic waste bin or compost is quickly exhausted, property owners cannot simply sweep the leaves onto the road or form larger piles of leaves.

In the worst case, this behavior is classified as an administrative offence. The danger is too great that the leaves will clog drains and cause flooding when it rains heavily.

gathering places for leaves

For this reason, numerous municipalities provide special collection points for leaves, for example at recycling centers. Certain cities such as Hamburg provide leaf bags with capacities of 100 liters each. If there is enough space on the property, garden owners can also temporarily store the excess leaves and dispose of them in the organic waste bin over time.

In addition, leaves in your own garden quickly prove to be a useful helper. Small animals such as hedgehogs use those accumulated in a garden corner or under hedges pile of leaves as winter quarters. In addition, the foliage is suitable for protecting sensitive plants from frost. However, garden owners should not spread foliage that is infected with bacteria or fungi.

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