I am often asked if they should leave a tree hanging over the pond. They always say it is filling the pond with leaves. I laugh. Our entire soil agriculture has come from these leaves. As rivers wind their way through valleys, they take their canopy with them. This is typically cottonwoods, alder and maple. The trees thrive on the sandy silt soil and deposit huge quantities of leaves and wood onto the shore. The river moves on and the result is the Mississippi River Valley, The Nile, Amazon and Yellow: the most fertile places on earth. What is happening with most pond owners is they do not have the composting material to metabolize the leaves. No leaf should ever be raked; it takes away from the nutrient base of the ecology. Instead, you should encourage decomposition by providing habitat for fungi and bacteria (a log) that in turn form the entire base of the food chain.
I see grand leaf removal programs in cities and residences where the entire community is involved in destroying the ecology of their environment. It is like burning the vitality out of your home. Rake. pillage and burn. You are at war. If you are involved in this, think about what you are doing. If you wish to move the leaves to a compost pile, you are retaining those nutrients and adding your humanist mammal to the overall ecology. Instead of destroying your home, provide homes for all others in your environment. Pay forward.
I talk like I am totally a tree hugger. I guess I am. I love everything about trees. They are powerful beings. If you ever have the chance to stand in a grove of ancient maple, go see the power of leaves. A grove of 300 foot trees with 30 foot diameter bases lay down a heavy tarp of pure sunlight for millions to eat I shiver every time I think about the visit (Thank-you Mr. Loren Smith).
Gluggy, go sit on a leaf and take the last heat of this year. It will give you food in the spring. It is a time to be thankful for all of the bounty and friends of the year. I am thankful to be PonDoc.
PonDoc from the pond