Seasonal nuisance eg. leaves and fruit

Table of Contents

Honeydew drip

Caused by aphid infestations on some species of tree Honeydew drip can be an issue in respect of vehicles, glazing and paved surfaces. Honeydew is sugary water which the aphids extract from the tree. It's effects may be avoided by keeping soft ground directly underneath the crown spread of the tree.

Where honey dew does fall onto smooth or high quality hard surfaces and vehicle parking areas, it can be easily removed with warm soapy water. Trees such as Lime and Sycamore that thrive in urban areas but are susceptible to aphid infestations, do however provide a positive benefit, as the sticky leaves collect and trap dust and harmful PM10s particles and so help reduce airborne pollution. Aphids are also an important source of food for birds and other wildlife.

Fallen fruit

This presents a potentially hazardous slippery surface to pedestrians and result in an unsightly mess if not cleared away. Trees will naturally produce seeds as this is the mechanism for reproduction. Seeds are found in fruit or cones, for example, but whatever species of tree is planted, it will produce organic matter which will inevitably fall to the ground. Seeds tend to be produced on younger shoots and cutting back to prevent this from happening would also remove much of the leafing area of the tree, resulting in significant harm or potentially the demise of the tree.

Trees bearing fruit are important for urban diversity and provide food for wildlife. While the council will chose species carefully for planting, we have a legacy of a number of mature trees which produce larger fruit.

Owing to their contribution to the environment, their removal due to fruit fall would not be the favoured course of action. Roads and pavements are swept regularly by the council's highways team and ad hoc sweeps can be carried out where health and safety is compromised.

Leaf litter

Long viewed as a problem by some residents leaf fall leading to blocked gutters and drains can be avoided by fitting proprietary mesh systems that enable water to drain whilst ensuring that leaves remain separate to be dispersed by the wind or collected.

The leaves of one large broad leaved tree can be worth as much as £32 of plant food and humus. Pound for pound, the leaves of most trees contain twice as many minerals as manure. For example, the mineral content of a sugar maple leaf is over five percent, while even common pine needles have 2.5 percent of their weight in calcium, magnesium, nitrogen and phosphorus, plus other trace elements.

Leaving the leaves on borders does help reduce evaporation of soil moisture and weed growth, provides slow release nutrients for uptake by other plants and provides cover and a food source for other wildlife.

A lawn mower is an effective means to collect leaves on lawns and is much faster than raking by hand. Details of home composting can be found on the get composting website, but if this is not practical, the council operates a green waste collection service and residents can subscribe to regular green waste collections.

Sustainable management of leaf litter at recycling centres enables it to be used as a valuable component of locally sourced compost.

Tree team : Contact details

For further assistance or information please contact us at:

Tree team - Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Town Hall, St Ives Road
Maidenhead SL6 1RF
Telephone: 01628 683800