Recently I purchased a Black & Decker electric blower/vacuum/mulcher which I saw advertised on one of those infomercials. I had a blower/vacuum attachment for my Ryobi already but it only vacuumed, not mulched. Because I have a huge evergreen magnolia that drops dead leaves continuously all year, I've needed to do something. I have cleaned up literally wheelbarrows full of leaves all year. (Think October all year long!) They are so diligent about falling that I cannot even mow a single strip without more leaves being on what I just mowed before I turn to go back up the next strip.
I bought it on the 4th and have already shredded several wheelbarrows full (shredded/mulched volume). As far as I'm concerned, this is the only way to go with leaves and wish I'd done it in 1999 when I bought this house; I might actually have lawn under the tree if I had. The lawnmower just cannot keep up with them and the bag needs to be emptied every couple of sweeps, if it even makes it two.
A neighbor up the street has a huge oak tree. I understand that oak leaves are excellent for the garden (they sure added to the horse manure I got for three years) and have wanted to get some from them. Now, this fall, I can realistically get them . . . and will ask. They will likely gleefully had me the end of the electric cord.<g>
My recommendation for the leaves is to definitely mulch/shred them if you have a way of doing it. You can put them directly on your plants (without them blowing away if they are dry) as mulch or in the compost.
This has worked so well, I'm seriously considering using it for the straw in the chicken house; it will work into the soil more quickly, surely, though the straw may be too long. One thing for sure, not tried, not known. :-)
Good luck with your project.