This is a follow-on to my previous encouragement that mulch leaves rather than bagging and curbing them. Compost piles are a great manner in which to turn shredded leaves into a healthy soil enriching product. However, if you are like me, the overall work required to set up and manage a compost pile does not fit into the gardening schedule. But sheet composting, layering compostible material directly on the ground, is another story. This is relatively simple and straightforward. My modified method is to spread out the leaves that you have shredded with the mulching mower between plants in the perennial and shrub borders or around the base of individual trees and shrubs. I do not use any newspaper in established beds. It is great for the low maintenance gardener as well as those committed to environmental sustainability. You can undertake only slightly more involved sheet composting efforts to make a garden out of an area that is currently turf or even weedy. Check out some of these web sites and see if this process might be of benefit to you and your garden.
The bottom line is that sheet composting is a relatively quick and easy way to utilize valuable organic matter that is provided by trees on an annual basis.