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Fallen autumn leaves are a valuable resource – here's how to make the most of them

By Muhammad Ali, Associate Professor in Materials and Environmental Innovation, University of Portsmouth
Anita Carey, PhD Candidate, School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, University of Portsmouth
Towards the end of autumn the days get colder and shorter. This triggers the reduction of the plant hormone auxin in most deciduous trees, which start to shed their leaves.

In natural woodlands, this isn’t an issue. Fallen leaves gather on the ground and eventually decompose, recycling their nutrients back into the soil to support plant growth the following year. All part of a natural cycle.

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