A reader said he had heard of the practice of shredding leaves prior to using them as mulch but wondered about the reason behind it. Was it just to make it easier to dispose of the leaves, since, once shredded, the load would be more compact? Or was there some other benefit?

More Efficient Disposal

After collecting leaves , you take the additional step of shredding them with lawn mower or a leaf shredder. Shredding leaves is a good idea regardless of whether your main interest is in disposing of them or producing compost.

But in case you do choose to dispose of the leaves that you just rake up in fall, shredding them first means there will be less air spaces when you stuff them into the disposal packs. Having less air spaces means, in turn, being able to pack more leaves into each pack. The result is that you simply will utilize less packs.