[REPOST] Piling leaves around trees

[I was hoping for more discussion. "Volcanoes" bad, but how about this below? Anyone?]
Our local park has pecan trees growing in topsoil-depleted, compacted, limestone rock and sand, high PH. The trees apparently survived by a sprinkler system, that became defunct years ago. Rain runs off before much soaks into the well draining "soil". The trees are suffering with more ends of their limbs dying off each year.
Here's what we did. We ringed the trunk with fence to protect the root flare, and added a 18' diameter fence around that. We have about a foot of slowly composting, damp but not soggy, leaves inside the fence. We're also covering the rest of the park with composted wood mulch. The advantages of retaining soil moisture, getting some biota going, especially worms, and getting organic nutrients into the soil were our primary goals. Given your concerns, do any apply to our experiment?

of
adapted:
to
in
themselves
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As stated in the previous posting, composting leaves will actually draw nitrogen from the surrounding soil. So I would recommend first composting the leaves separately and then applying them, after break down, to the tree area. That foot of leaves is mostly air and will not give a large amount of insulation, as would previously composted material. Chopped up leaves would help a bit to compact the layer. Although its a lot of work, you should loosen the compacted dirt around the drip line of the trees to allow nutrients to enter more easily, being careful not to damage any of the tree roots in the process. If the soil contains a lot of sand, it should make loosening of the soil an easier task. You might also want to add some slow decomposing fertilizer, like cow manure, to restore the soil, mixing it into the top layer of soil. Here in the Midwest, our clay soil has poor drainage, and so I have to add sand to my trees.
Sherwin D.
cat daddy wrote:

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leaves,
fall
concentrations
rodents
turn
woodland
carbon
nature
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cat daddy wrote:

"I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to compost your dog manure before spreading it. Fresh isn't allowed."
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<g> Yeah, some people even asked if the leaf piles were where we should put the dog poop. As least they asked.......... }:-/ Speaking of fresh, it would be amusing (for a while) to see which dogs have that penchant for rolling in stinky stuff. After they chase me down and corner me in the back of the park, it might be less amusing......
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