View Full Version : Oak leaf mulch?

01-28-2003, 02:53 PM
Hi Erik. I ripped out my lawn and shrubs last year and I planted all natives, so I am a relative newbie to all of this, too. I have found that costal live oak leaves that I can get here in San Francisco make great mulch. They do look a little messy, so for the more formal areas near my patio I cover them with redwood bark chips. If you use the bark, don`t dig it in because as it decomposes it will steal Nitrogen from the soil, but on top it`s okay.</p>

01-28-2003, 06:28 PM
Hello, I`ve been enjoying the posts here and I have a question. Keep in mind that we are newbies to the gardening scene. We just moved to Highland Parkbetween Glendale and Pasadena last fall and have a lot of landscaping to do. We also have a large Oak, I`m not sure what type, that drops a ton of leaves and acorns. Can I use these dead leaves to create mulch or are the leaves too tough? If not mulch, any other good ideas? It seems a shame to just throw it in the recycling bin. Thanks, Erik</p>

01-29-2003, 05:06 AM
Erik - My mom lives out between LaVerne and Claremont, and has some old live oaks. The problem with the oak leafe mulch has been that the acorns germinate into hundreds of unwanted oak seedlings. They might get one of those plastic compost tumblers and compost their oak litter before spreading it out. The composting process should break up the acorns - I think. Has anyone tried this? Lori Hubbart</p>

01-30-2003, 12:50 PM
I would encourage you to keep that oak leaf mulch under the oak. It promotes a healthy immune system for the oak, and helps sustain the mycorrhizal infrastucture that is vital to the overall health of the tree. All at the expense of weeds. Planting associated companion plants under the oaks can actually help deter some of the germination of oak seedlings. Isn`t it funny to be talking about an overabundance of oak seedling when there are whole conventions centered around why oaks aren`t reproducing?! Lots of seedlings tells me that at least you have some ecology left. Good luck.</p>