No. This can create a perfect environment for fungus, mold,
destructive insects and rodents. The bark of a tree should not be
covered up with leaves or mulch, but I see this done all the time.
Like people, some trees can take more abuse than others.
I feel that it can be done so that it is not harmful to the plants.
I mulch with leaves this time of year but I am very careful to keep them
pulled away from the base of the plant. And I shred them first so water can
more easily penetrate.
It's nature's mulch and it's free.... and delivered.
At this time of year, I mulch all my beds with leaves from my trees. I
try to keep the mulch not thicker than about 3-4 inches. This is not
enough to smother low-growing perennials but enough to discourage weeds.
In summer, it keeps the soil cool and reduces the loss of soil
moisture; with our ongoing drought, this is very important.
Around my oak (valley white oak, Quercus lobata), I try to keep a mulch
about 6 inches thick. Western oaks seem to suffer if they don't have a
mulch of their own leaves over their root zone. I have no low-growing
plants around the oak.
Excess leaves go into my compost pile, which is really more a leaf mold
pile since there is very little green matter. When the amount of leaves
threatens to overwhelm the composting process, the rest goes in the
green trash bin for the county's composting program.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Mulch suggestions are here
Mulching - http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology.
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.
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