Originally Posted by Smallaxe
... How does that compare(or contrast) to the layer of thatch in the turf?
The thatch would have exactly the same 3 layers of decay and provide the very same benefits as the needles for the trees.
That layer under the new needles, often times has roots from the pine tree growing 'up' into it.
What happens to the forest floor, if we go in and strip away all the pine needles? Down to the dirt?