Tj Jefferson wrote: and they don't see the hundreds of loads already under the ground feeding the soil web.
Marco Banks wrote:
The only caution I would add is that when they sit in a pile for any length of time, fresh chips with lots of leaves and moisture in them tend to get moldy. I've grown pretty sensitive to breathing those mold spores the more I've been exposed to them.
Trace Oswald wrote:
Marco Banks wrote:
At this point, if I load wood chips that aren't freshly chipped, i wear a respirator . . . if you move chips that have been sitting, especially if they are actively steaming.
If you wake up the next morning and are hacking up green goo and spitting it onto the floor of the shower to clear your lungs, you've been "molded". A steaming compost pile = good. A steaming wood chip pile = caution. It's still good, but you don't want to be standing downwind of that cloud of steam.
That said, it's still the best stuff for your garden or orchard. You've just got to use appropriate caution. As Trace has said, a respirator is needed -- not just one of those little paper masks, as they are not adequate to filter out the spores.
Travis Johnson wrote:A few years ago we lost 3 of our papermills in a single week, in total we are down to six from a high of 145 in 1947. The problem is, those paper mills would consume 2500 cords of wood or more per DAY. That sounds sad, but Maine is a big state, and the most forested in the Nation, and the reality is, we grow a cord per acre, per year, sustainably. Maine will NEVER run out of trees...
But our economy is based upon wood, our second largest export after electricity.
So my idea was, to keep our logging industry going, why not put that wood to good use. Organic Matter in the Midwest is around 1%, but transportation is cheap, and we have so much stinking wood, and now no place to send it.
All it would take is a planter that would deposit wood chips as it was engaged in planting crops. It would not flood the field with wood chips all at once, but over time, every year, more and more wood chips would be added to the fields of the midwest increasing soil fertility. Good gravy, if they can transport wood chips from Sweden to make paper in Maine economically, then they sure can ship wood chips by the trainload (or ship load through the Great Lakes or Mississipi) to increase mid-west soil fertility.
It really makes sense. As it is right now, with the loss of our paper mills, landowners (and Maine is 95% privately owned), is clearing forest to put it into fields because we have to pay our property taxes somehow. Many thought that shutting down paper mills would make our forests better, but it really has just eliminated their value as a forest altogether. I have cleared 100 acres myself, and I am not alone in that endeavor. Wood chips for the mid-west would make forests in Maine viable again.
ari gold wrote:Indeed!
In fact, I got a simple electric chipper (lil less than 2" diameter) sos I can make my own. Or take the neighbors' "waste"
Dennis Bangham wrote:Do I replace wood chips every year? Should I stop after a while?
Jen Fulkerson wrote:Here I am again. Help My latest load of wood chips I think is from a sweet gum tree. Besides the very strong smell which will dissipate over time, oh I hope soon, there are tons of sharp seed pods in the mix. My plan for the chips are the start of a food forest. My concern is if I use the chips this way, will I end up with a sweet gum forest instead of a food forest?