Duke Cannon's Guide to Leaf Blower Etiquette

The true sound of fall isn’t geese honking their way south, Friday night football games, or logs crackling in a backyard fire. Instead, the official soundtrack of autumn seems to be the near constant drone of 2-stroke engines clearing yards of fallen leaves. Now, on the whole Duke Cannon supports gas-powered leaf abatement, but surely we can all agree that some basic ground rules for operating this glorious, yet cacophonous, piece of power equipment are needed. We like to bring the noise, but we like the sounds of silence, too.


Say you’ve decided to host a backyard BBQ, birthday party, or anniversary celebration. Then suddenly, it sounds as if a dirt bike race is underway next door, because an inconsiderate neighbor has decided now is the time to clear every last leaf from his yard (not cool, Randy). So before you fire up your beloved power tool, take a peek over the fence, or check the street parking situation for extra cars, and see if your fellow suburban denizens are hoisting a soirée. It's the decent thing to do, and hopefully they’ll return the favor someday.


Some neighbors will have babies in their houses. Perhaps you have a baby in your house. If so, you know how mercurial they can be: sleeping like angels one second, then wide awake and howling loud enough to wake the dead the next. And rest assured: a leaf blower will wake up a baby. So, if you live next a house with an infant, maybe avoid the hours between 2:00 – 4:00pm for your mechanized assault on the leafy hordes. Or perhaps even inquire about an established nap schedule. Bleary-eyed parents everywhere will appreciate it.


All across this great nation are pins at the corner of residential lots. Stretch a string between said pins and you have what is called a property line; a sacred barrier that promotes peace and goodwill in populated areas. We can’t believe we have to even say this, but: DO NOT blow your leaves across this line. We understand a few might drift over unintentionally, but any more than five (5) leaves constitutes an act of aggression, and could invite retaliation. Or, if you live in the Midwest, extended doses of that weird silent treatment thing.


Fuel prices are up, so it’s worth asking yourself if it’s really necessary to fire up the rig to rid your lawn of a couple dozen leaves. The answer for most sane people is, of course, “no.” Grab a broom to sweep them off your driveway or better yet, hand your kids a rake and send them out on a character-building mission. Or, heaven forbid, you could just wait for more leaves to tumble down; if Duke Cannon has learned anything in all our years, it’s that trees seem to have a near inexhaustible supply of the things.


We’ve all seen (and heard) that guy: out there in the dark with a spotlight bobbling madly about, noisily blowing his leaves around as you’re trying to peacefully digest a sizable dinner. We understand that sundown comes early in the fall, and outdoor chores often boil down racing against the clock like Van Helsing trying to get things in order before Dracula wakes up. But once artificial illumination is required, it’s time to put aside your precious blower for the night. Remember: tomorrow is another day.