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By M. Jelley
They've already discovered maintenance-free grass (requiring no mowing). Now, how about botanists developing a tree whose growth can be controlled to a certain height, and which either has evergreen leaves, or else leaves that aren't a pain to rake. I think the honey-locust may have more manageable leaves, but can it grow in cool climates, too? In hot weather it's energy-efficient to have shade trees cooling the house, but they're such a PAIN to maintain. If only there were a solution!

Reward: Best of all the worlds, labor-free shade.
By Christine McElrath
We already have great trees that do exactly what you want.... EVERGREEN TREES
By Pat Perry
Ever heard of artificial flowers? How about artificial trees! Sure they would be expensive, but surely there are enough eccentric rich folks out there who would try this. They could be placed in the ground much like outdoor basketball goals .. with a long metal pole in the ground secured by cement. Perhaps they could have climate sensors or heat sensitive leaves to change color with the seasons, or even color-coded to match outdoor decor. How about tiny phosphorescing spots for nightime glow? No leaves to rake. Just another idea, but I wouldn't want one.
By Sylfest Muldal
Pat's idea makes sense to me, bringing this sorry notion to its logical conclusion. Changeable robotic 'trees' could display their own kind of beauty, perhaps.
But I must say I'm depressed by the entire idea of no-maintenance trees. Are we really so lazy, so arrogant, so careless? Even in the chore of raking leaves you can take pleasure in the character and beauty of your natural tree. Accept no substitutes.
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By Michael D. Grissom
I might like this idea if the artificial tree came with a built in motorized lift so I could go up and pick artificial fruit. AND,... maybe even get one that drips artificial maple syrup. mmmmm

Seriously though, an electric computer/robot mower/mulcher is about to hit the market. I hate raking leaves too!
It's not a tree, but if it's shade you want...
Didn't see it myself so I don't know how much trouble it was to clean up each year, but heard my ex tell of a guy in the midwest who strung string each year across five poles and planted morning glory vines. They grew in a short time to completely cover and provide shade to the entire side of the house - and flowers - saving hundreds of dollars in air conditioning costs. At the end of autumn, the vines died off and, presumably, the homeowner collected a few seeds, cleared the strings and that was that until the following year when he strung up the string again on the same poles and replanted.

This idea wouldn't work in some areas that did not have snow because morning glories are somewhat of a 'pest' plant, over-growing too easily.
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By magicat
:-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P

Trees are lovely. If you don't want to rake up leaves or needles (yes, evergreen trees shed too) then you could just hire someone. I'm sure that there are plenty of teens willing to do the dirty work for a little $.
By helco
I realize it's been a number of years since this idea was posted ... I hope you didn't try to use honey locust trees for your purpose; they're among the messiest trees around. They drop tons of leaves that are narrow enough to slip between the tines of a rake and that get into every crevice possible. They drop their large pods all over the place. They're constantly dropping small branches. The area around a locust tree always looks messy unless it's given daily care.
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