composting leaves

Asked September 13, 2018, 11:08 AM EDT

are big leaf maples good compost material

Linn County Oregon compost

1 Response

Hi and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.
Yes, big leaf maples are excellent compost material. My one caution would be if you know they have been sprayed with pesticides, do not use them in vegetable or fruit gardens or for any food plant. Otherwise, yes, use them. In the late fall they can be used as a mat (when they are wet) and cover entire beds for the winter. Pile the leaves 5 or 6 deep. This stops a lot of soil run off in the rainy season and keeps early weeds at bay in the spring. They can be moved easily with a rake and put into a compost bed after that.
If you just want to put them into a compost pile, they will break down faster if you run over them with the lawn mower and chew them up a bit.
Here are a couple of links to a more information on what can go into a compost pile. https://extension.illinois.edu/compost/process.cfm
https://extension.psu.edu/home-composting-a-guide-for-home-gardeners
Thanks for composting, it's great for your garden and the soil.