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Leaving Leaves Alone in Autumn

Put Away the Rake and Get a Healthier Yard

Leaving leaves alone in autumn can actually benefit your lawn. If you grew up in a Roanoke, VA, neighborhood filled with trees, chances are you did plenty of raking. Friends and neighbors probably told you that the reason for this was so that the dead leaves wouldn’t kill the grass. While this myth lined your pockets (assuming you got paid for raking), it also removed nutrients from your yard. This process may sound confusing, but don’t worry. We can simplify it for you.

Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal is proud to educate Roanoke, VA, on the benefits of leaving leaves alone in autumn. First, we will explain the benefits of fallen leaves. Then, we will discuss what nutrients those fallen leaves provide. Finally, we will show you how those same leaves can help roots thrive. At Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal, we pride ourselves on helping our Roanoke, VA, customers in the best way possible.

Fallen Leaves Provide Benefits to Your Yard

By now, we’re all older and wiser, so the idea of removing leaves from your yard doesn’t make much sense. As they decompose, they release essential nutrients into the soil. The soil in your yard is the primary beneficiary of these fallen leaves. Over time, they provide nutrients for roots. According to David Misjewski of the Natural Wildlife Federation, fall leaves offer double the benefits:

“Leaves form a natural mulch that helps suppress weeds and, at the same time, fertilize the soil as they break down.”


Soil amendment adds leaves directly to your flowerbeds, providing premium nutrients for roots. All you have to do is pile them up to six inches deep then till them into the soil. The green matter eventually decomposes, enriching the roots with nutrients. Soil amendment can also aerate the substance as you dig them in.

Autumn Leaves Contain Numerous Nutrients

Fallen leaves benefit garden soil as mulch or compost. Once they hit the ground, they provide numerous nutrients to the roots. Leaves are a significant source of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Leaves also contain various amounts of 12 other nutrients and minerals that feed your garden’s fertility. Rutgers University did a study analyzing the nutrient content of leaves. Here’s what they came up with:

Carbon 47 36-52
Nitrogen 1 0.66-1.62
Potassium 0.38 0.99-0.88
Phosphorous 0.38 0.02-0.29
Calcium 1.64 0.13-3.04
Magnesium 0.24 0.02-0.46
Sulfur 0.11 0.01-0.21

Although concentrations are small, leaves are still considered a valuable component of soil fertility. They will deposit the nutrients as they decompose.

Fallen Leaves Can Improve the Roots in Your Lawn and Garden

Once leaves hit the ground, property owners reap the benefits of a free natural resource. Roots can gather nutrients after the leaves fall to the ground. Leaving them alone is one way to reduce the amount of fertilizer needed to keep trees healthy. Here’s how fallen leaves can benefit roots in your lawn or garden:

Create a Leaf Mulch

To compose this substance, you can run over leaves with a mulching lawnmower. Be sure to remove any twigs, sticks, or stones that may damage your mower. Using a leaf shredder can also help in creating a leaf mulch. As they break down, they return nutrients to roots in the soil. In turn, property owners will use less fertilizer and chemicals to keep their lawn healthy.

Leaf Composting

Creating leaf compost requires a bit more work. However, people refer to the end result as “leaf gold.” Pile them into a garbage bag with holes, add water, and turn with a pitchfork every month. If possible, sprinkle in some nitrogen fertilizer to break down the leaves and heat up the compost. The final product will be a dark and crumbly substance that resembles soil.

Why Don’t You Give It a Try?

In the middle of fall in Roanoke, VA, you could try something new in your yard. Don’t touch the leaves, and allow them to provide nutrients to roots, offering substantial benefits. Experiment with leaf mulch or compost and see if the results work for you. Doing this will save you a lot of money and stress on your body. While you’re at it, you’ll be doing the environment in and around Roanoke, VA, a big favor. If you still aren’t sure about leaving fallen leaves alone to enhance roots, speak to a professional today. Our team here at Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal understands the benefits of what leaves can do. We can also remove trees to help get leaves on the ground.

Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal Offers Professional Tree Service

When it comes to tree removal, our team of experienced workers can get the job done. For more than 20 years, Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal has helped residents in and around Roanoke, VA, with mulch service. We will work with you to help get as many leaves as you need to have proper nutrients. Our team will also inspect the trees for insects and potential diseases to ensure the leaves are healthy.

Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal’s experience makes it easy to get the right amount of leaves for your lawn. We are also proud to provide free estimates, along with 24-hour emergency services. If you are a military member or senior citizen, please enjoy a discount on our services. To learn more about our tree services and how they can benefit you, contact us today.

For more information on leaving leaves alone in autumn, give Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal, a call at (540) 330-4761. Customers in and around Roanoke, VA, can contact us online or visit our Facebook page for the latest information. For more than 20 years, we have helped our Roanoke, VA, customers get the most out of their leaves. We are happy to educate our customers in Roanoke, VA, on the benefits of leaving leaves alone in autumn.