My neighbors are nice, but they laugh a bit when they see me outside pulling leaves off of branches I have cut down. Sometimes a tree needs a bit of pruning.
I'd love to have a composting system strong enough to take the woody branches, but that just isn't happening in my average - size backyard. And I already have a small supply of dried out branches in case I need fire wood.
So what I do is let the branches I cut sit for a few days. This allows the leaves to dry up and become much easier to pull off. Dry leaves tend to crumple off easily when I rub my hand along them. I can put the leaves in a bucket and squeeze them into small bits in my hands. The small pieces of leaves can be put into my compost bin or spread around the garden as mulch.
Why do I do this? I believe each leaf holds the building blocks to make a new leaf. If I can save a few hundred to thousand leaves, they have the basics necessary to provide a few hundred to thousand leaves next year.
Also, I purchased my own home. I consider the soil to be part of my property. Why would I throw away such a rich resource?
Unfortunately, I currently need to put the branches in the "green waste" bin. At least someone else can make some beautiful soil (and some money) off the trees grown in my yard.