The only leaves available to me at this time of year "July" is the little tongue shaped "bracts" of the Linden or lime tree. The function of these bracts I believe is to protect the tree flower and seeds. It's just that the leaves are very pale and I'm guessing might not be functional as a solar panel as a normal leaf. Is this true and do you think that they might serve as a quality input for a compost pile?

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    If they are what you have available, they are what you compost. Couldn't begin to guess at the nutrient profile, and barring finding some odd research project, would not expect to know it or worry too much about it. Compost is better than not having compost...
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 20, 2022 at 17:34
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    I compost them when I can be bothered to pick them up (I have a ton of them because I have a mature linden tree). FWIW, the soil under the tree is excellent - it usually gets only linden leaf litter and the bracts, along with dead wildflower foliage in the fall as mulch.
    – Jurp
    Jul 20, 2022 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


It is a natural leaf, so surely it will be beneficial organic matter in the compost pile. The question to ask is whether it is high in nitrogen or carbon. It will be higher in nitrogen if it is green and higher in carbon if it is brown. This will affect the ration of nitrogen to carbon and you want an optimal 30:1 carbon to nitrogen ration.

  • You are absolutely right. However, consider to provide citations, explanations and sources for your statements like compost.css.cornell.edu/….
    – Gyrfalcon
    Jul 28, 2022 at 23:49
  • And citations like "The ideal C/N ratio for composting is generally considered to be around 30:1, or 30 parts carbon for each part nitrogen by weight. Why 30:1? At lower ratios, nitrogen will be supplied in excess and will be lost as ammonia gas, causing undesirable odors. Higher ratios mean that there is not sufficient nitrogen for optimal growth of the microbial populations, so the compost will remain relatively cool and degradation will proceed at a slow rate."
    – Gyrfalcon
    Jul 28, 2022 at 23:50

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