Some leaves do not make good leafmould

11th November 2021

Some leaves do not make good leafmould

Leathery evergreen leaves, like the hedging laurel Prunus laurocerasus , do not make good leafmould as it takes many seasons for the tough coating on the leaves to break down; it is better to shred the prunings and compost them, or burn them cautiously ( the smoke will contain toxins which will give you a headache ; it is better to make sure you use a shredder in the open air too, to avoid breathing in vapours). Holly, which has a similar tough leaf, is also not a good idea -  think of the spines! Even some deciduous leaves like oak, which have high proportions of tannin in them, take a long time to break down properly.

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