Consider: Leaving the leaves
Much like the leaves and stems above, hundreds of species of butterflies, beetles, moths, and bees overwinter curled in leaves and snuggled under leaf piles. As a matter of fact, in cooler climates, the vast majority of butterflies and moths overwinter as eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises, or even adults in leaf litter. Luckily, #LeaveTheLeaves campaigns have been gaining ground in recent years, and participants can even get attractive yard signs to help spread the word while supporting important conservation work.
Tree leaves are excellent, highly nutritious mulch for gardens; in fact, they can contain 50-80 percent of whatever nutrients the tree collected from the soil and air over the previous season. Leaves can also be piled into cages around young trees and roses as winter insulation or tucked under bushes and inside fence lines if your lawn must be clear. Please don’t chop or shred them, however, as the leaves may contain precious beneficial critters waiting to emerge in the spring.
Actions at ASCO:
We don’t have too many trees to contend with, but we are leaving our leaves along fence lines, under bushes, and are foregoing bagging.