Leaf Piles-Tree Health

Q: Between my house and my neighbor we have a 20′ by 300′ tree-filled section we both blow leaves into. The leaves are perhaps a foot deep. Will the piling of leaves create a problem for the trees?

A: It’s tough to predict what will happen. One of my neighbors had a number of trees taken down before his house was built and the wood chips were piled at least a foot deep onto an area 50′ x 50′. As the chips rotted, the area was so soft you would sink up to your ankles when walking on it. But the trees under which the chips were spread show no real signs of damage and it’s been fifteen years since this was done.The only problem I can really foresee is that during dry weather the thick layer of leaves will prevent rainwater from reaching the soil and your trees could be harmed by drought. If it were me, I’d stop blowing leaves into that area until they have decomposed down to four inches in depth.

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