Hello everyone. I'm new here and generally new to permaculture. Prior to making this thread I did a search of the site and could not find what I was looking for so please forgive if it's already been addressed. I live in Australia and have a fair amount of wood left over from a felled Callistemon tree. This is also known as a bottle brush tree. I have recently been investigating hugelkultur and thought to put some of the wood of this tree to this use. Some of the wood is a year weathered (the felled tree). Some of it is new (new cut from another Callistemon about a month ago). I have read that some woods are not recommended for various reasons and wanted to see if anyone knew anything about this tree that would make it unsuitable, or any particular considerations I need to make in regards to using it. I have already started digging and hauling soil around and thought to address this concern before I continue to labor.
Sub type: Unknown (produces white bottle brushes)
Is there anything in particular that concerns you about the tree?
Sometimes the answer is nothing
posted 1 year ago
wayne fajkus wrote:Is there anything in particular that concerns you about the tree?
I've never tried Hugelkultur before and am just operating on the things I've read/seen, and some of that says that certain trees can be unsuitable for various reasons. That type of tree wasn't listed
but it's not like I'm an expert on trees or anything so I was hoping that someone might know something I didn't. I finished it today. One log had a bunch of ants, but I wasn't sure that mattered. I
spread a fair amount of cut up mushrooms and put some coffee grounds into the soil mix as well. Pea straw on top, then more of the dirt I dug the shallow trench from. Then seeded it with a variety
of food plants. Now I wait and see if my efforts will bearfruit, so to speak.
When I sawed my bottlebrush tree down, I noticed the wood was a lot softer than my hardwood tree. Softwood trees aren’t as good for attracting fungi/mushrooms to help then rot down because they contain natural anti-fungal properties that hardwoods don’t. However they still can; my old bottlebrush stump has wild mushrooms growing on it.
My several bottlebrush tree stumps don’t rot down quickly, whilst my hardwood tree stump has rotten right through the taproot in less than two years of being felled and naturally being colonised with fungi. The bottlebrush stumps just stay there and it takes years to get rid of them. One of my garden beds has a tree stump below the surface that doesn’t rot, and I suspect it might be a bottlebrush from the previous owner.
The leaves do breakdown very slowly by earthworms if they’re buried below the soil or have a very thick mulch over them. They’re like gum leaves in that they’re very dry and will stay around forever if they’re not smothered.
So I’d say if you have a different tree like a hardwood to choose from then it’s probably better to use the hardwood. If you have no other choice you could still experiment with the bottlebrush. As it stays around longer there’s more chance for termites to make a home there.
He was giving me directions and I was powerless to resist. I cannot resist this tiny ad: