Will Stacks Of Leaves Around Pine Trees Cause Harm

Question From: P. O'Toole - Saint Charles, Michigan, United States
Q: We have a lot of trees in our yard. We have a variety of pine trees, tons of scrub oak, maple and several other species of trees. To say we have a lot of leaves in the fall is an understatement. Some areas we keep clear and mow, but others are more wild. In the wild areas there are a ton of leaves around the trees. What I would like to know is, do the stacks of leaves around the pine trees harm them? I have started clearing out around some of them, and wonder if I am helping or hurting them. Some of the trees don't look very healthy, and I was thinking it was because the leaves are suffocating the roots. What do you think? Thank you for your help.

A: Mother Nature does not clear away leaves in the fall. Sounds like your trees may be over-crowded and they may be shading out the lower part of the pines. I would have a professional assess your landscape to see what the situation is. To find a certified arborist in your area, go to www.tcia.org and enter your zip code