Shredded downed trees for mulch?

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Kchar

New Member
Hi, during this weekend's storm, we lost a few large pine trees. A tree guy is coming by today to give me a price on removal. I wonder if I can have them mulch the trees and leave the mulch in my driveway to use around my garden? I have an acre with trees, shrubs, flowers around the border, and can always use more mulch. Would using these trees cause any problems? Thanks
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
hello and welcome to the place....
I see no reason you could not use this as mulch...I know pine bark mulch is a long lasting addition to the beds...Now sence these are fresh down trees I would allow it to compost for at least 4 months...pine needles are high in acid...not sure the trees are though...here is a link on pine needle mulch that may have a bit of usefull information...
http://www.ehow.com/how_2150271_mulch-garden-pine-needles.html
 

Randy

Super Moderator
Staff member
My farmer friend uses sawdust from fir trees as mulch for his blueberry fields.
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Kchar,
Welcome to Gardenforums.com! I actually get mulch from our local utility trimmer. And it works great for eveything. We have mostly sand so I turn a lot of it in the garden , especially the really small stff like the tops. You will find there will be large stuff in the mix too. One word of caution about putting it close to your house. You may not have this issue in PA but in Florida any wood that hits the ground and stays will be come termite food, especially if it stays wet for long. We can not use anything except cedar or cypress against the house. You might want to ask your local pest control operator if this should be a concern in your area. Other than that I love that type of mulch!!
 

Kya D

Active Member
KChar what a sweet baby.
Welcome to the site.
Jump in, relax and ENJOY

I have never used pine mulch because the pinyon pine around here is pretty strong
 

Kchar

New Member
Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. I'll have the tree guy leave it in my driveway and move it to the back of the property for use in the fall or next spring.
 

Alan in Vermont

New Member
Now sence these are fresh down trees I would allow it to compost for at least 4 months
Why? If you are using it for mulch it would seem to me the last thing you would want is for it to decompose. Being on top of the soil it's not going to suck up N too badly. Depending on what you are mulching it migh be possible to leave it down for 3-4 seasons. At throughout the last season you can feed it N to hasten the breakdown then turn it under and start over.

I've got 50-60 cu. yds. of tree chips, freebies from utility contractors, that I will be spreading soon between my squash and pumpkin hills. There is no way I would consider doing anything to it other than putting it down. Moving/turning that sort of pile gets old in a hurry.

Quite a few loads, hopefully will get more before it is time to plant. Good mix of hardwood and pine, fairly small chips with some bigger nuggets.
 

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Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
Alan...well, there could be heat...acid...several reasons not to put some compost on direct and fresh...as I said not an expert but thought a little more investagaing may be needed..

I know when we would get and use saw dust the best way several years that had rotted..
 

Alan in Vermont

New Member
You're right about compost but the original poster's, and my previous, comments were regarding chips as mulch, not as a soil amendment. Even if you did want them as a amendment it is far easier to work them into the soil, keep the N level up and let them decompose than it would be to relocate a sizeable pile, work an N source into it and keep it turned. Without additional N a pile of chips takes a long time to break down, more on the order of 3-4 years rather than months.

Chip mulch works great! I had a lot delivered and put it around my cucurbit hills, virtually eliminating trash growth. Used the same plot for two seasons and could have gotten two more out of it had I not changed plans.
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
I understand what you are saying Alan...but when it is put on top of the soil and then the bed is watered you can run the risk of to much of any of a number of things going into the soil...or if it is fresh and really hot as it breaks down 'can' some times burn up your plants...i understand months to years to beark down...not so much the total break down sir...but more a chance for it to cool if need be or for some ...in this case..possiable acid to deminish... ...my reason for adding as much information as I can ...even some that may not apply so one can be informed...
I agree chip mulch is great to add in some beds for mulch...
 

Kchar

New Member
Hi, Flower: Yes, I was told by the tree guy to let it age four about four months before I use it. So I can put it in the back of my property to age, and use it in the fall or next spring.
 


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