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Recycle, Don’t Bag or Burn, Fall Leaves

Think of fall leaves as fertilizer falling from the sky, not an annoyance to be raked and removed.  Recycle these nutrient-rich packets back into your landscape.

Tree leaves contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients the plants absorb from the air and soil throughout the growing season. Recycle these nutrients back into the soil to benefit future plantings.

An even bigger benefit is the organic matter fall leaves provide. Whether used as mulch, incorporated into the soil or composted, as the leaves break down they improve the soil.

And don’t be afraid to recycle oak leaves. Although acidic these and other leaves have very little impact on soil pH.

Small leaves and leaflets like those of willow, honeylocust and acacia are ready to use as is. Shred larger and tougher leaves of oaks and maples to speed decomposition and prevent matting.

A bit more information:  Composted leaves contain about .5 to 1% nitrogen and phosphorous and about .1% potassium. They are high in carbon and compost quickly when combined with nitrogen rich materials like vegetable waste and grass clippings.

Upcoming Appearances


Jan. 29, 2022
WCBA's Home Building &
Remodeling Expo

West Bend, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 2, 2022
Small Space Gardening
(webinar)

Feb. 11-13, 2022
PBS Wisconsin
Garden & Landscape EXPO

Madison, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 18-20, 2022
NARI Milwaukee
Spring Home Improvement Show

Milwaukee, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 23, 2022
Dahlias - Proven Performers!
(webinar)

March 1, 2022
Michigan Green Industry Assn.
Annual Tradeshow & Convention

Novi, MI
(in-person event)

March 5-6, 2022
Maryland Home & Garden Show
Lutherville-Timonium, MD
(in-person event)

​​​​​​​March 26-27, 2022
​​​​​​​REALTORS Home & Garden Show
West Allis, WI
(in-person event)

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