• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

Summer leaves turning yellow & falling after mulching with fresh wood chips

 
pollinator
Posts: 362
72
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A few weeks ago I mulched heavily with fresh arborist wood chips. I’ve seen on tv that using freshly chopped wood as mulch can cause yellowing if leaves. Some of my leaves are falling off too.

I’m wondering if this is something that is able to kill the trees and plants, or if it’s just a temporary problem that will fix itself as the mulch slowly breaks down? It’s the start of summer here and it’s weird seeing roses and a mulberry tree losing all their leaves.
 
Posts: 13
Location: Washington, zone 8B, gravelly sandy loam, PH 4.8, 40 in/yr, warm dry summer - wet cool winter
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How thick did you apply it?  Too thick can smother things.  Also was your watering getting through the mulch layer?
 
Posts: 618
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
57
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
that shouldn't be happening. maybe the wood chips were contaminated with fuel or something? i put fresh arborist chips around my trees every spring and thats never happened to me. quite the opposite actually.
 
pollinator
Posts: 752
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
202
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd also suspect contamination of some sort. Wood chips on the surface don't rob nitrogen. Also, it wouldn't hurt to check and make sure that the soil underneath has adequate moisture...if things were really dry when you put the mulch down, the trees might simply be stressed for that reason.
 
gardener
Posts: 6686
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1337
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What types of trees were the arborists turning into chips?
If you for instance got chips from walnut trees they could be the problem.
As others have mentioned, knowing what was done to that wood before it became chips is more a must know than ever before.
In the past, you really didn't need to be sure of what was sprayed on the trees, but over the last 30 years so many new chemicals have been introduced to the market that are no good for any living plant that now we have a real need to know problem.

Try raking the new chips away and see if there is recovery by the roses and mulberry tree, if there is, then the chips are the problem and it is time to put some oyster mycelium to work on the contaminates in those chips.
If the plants don't seem to be recovering, then it might be time to lift one of the roses and find out what critters are in the roots. There are nematodes and other nasty critters that can wreak havoc on even healthy plants.

Redhawk
 
gardener
Posts: 1802
Location: South of Capricorn
703
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
just a thought- my mulberries are all very temperamental this time of year, we were remarking on this the other day. Heat stress and then flooding probably is a fair reason. The roses also are stressed, I just lost 100% of the leaves on one to some sort of chewing pest, although roses are finicky so I don't even pretend to understand. But the mulberries, I was noticing that all the mulberries around my area looked kind of ratty. You sure it's not just normal mulberry-looking-miserable time of year where you are?
 
pollinator
Posts: 256
Location: The Arkansas Ozarks
42
cat dog forest garden rabbit building solar rocket stoves woodworking wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Redhawk,

This is a tad off topic from this thread, but relates to your suggestion of how to cure the problem created by the wood chips.

My question relates to sourcing the mycelium.  Is the type of mushroom used to inoculate the soil critical or can I use almost any fungal source?  I have several large oak logs from a tree that came down in a storm about a year ago.  They have some spectacular fungal growth on parts of the logs.  I was wondering if I could collect them and grind them into a slurry in the blender and pour them on the piles that I want to inoculate?  I do realize that this would often never produce edible mushrooms, but would the mycelium do the same job for the soil even if it is from inedible types?

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Ralph
 
pollinator
Posts: 2127
Location: 4b
505
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ralph Kettell wrote:I was wondering if I could collect them and grind them into a slurry in the blender and pour them on the piles that I want to inoculate?  I do realize that this would often never produce edible mushrooms, but would the mycelium do the same job for the soil even if it is from inedible types?

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Ralph



I do exactly that.  I use any kind of mushroom I find growing, but I don't eat mushrooms anyway, so I don't care what kind they are.  I mix kinds together that I find.  All of them help break the wood chips down.
 
pollinator
Posts: 706
Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
138
hugelkultur dog duck
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The mulberries would fall into a classic walnut guild (Gaia's garden says they even benefit from walnut),  so if the mulberries were fine while other plants wilted that would be a tell that it was walnut/jugalone to blame. Even then, I understand the primary vector for allelopathy to be root exudates from the living tree rather than decomposing leaves or wood (at least this is true with conifers like western hemlock, which still make fine hugelkulture ingredients). I would mainly be concerned about herbicide contamination in the woodchips from applications on lawns or landscapes around the trees that the chips were made from, which likely precipitated that tree's demise. It is amazing that we are so short sighted as a culture as to poison our environment for decades in order to save a few hours work weeding, or better yet designing to prevent or even utilize weeds. It is also entirely possible this is just a coincidence with your timing of placing the wood chips and its an unrelated problem like herbicide on the wind, gophers or similar root munchers, or a lack of moisture before applying the wood chips. Another consideration is if you placed the chips right up to the bark, it could be harboring bark stripping rodents or suffocating/moldering the bark.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 6686
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1337
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ralph Kettell wrote:Hi Redhawk,

This is a tad off topic from this thread, but relates to your suggestion of how to cure the problem created by the wood chips.

My question relates to sourcing the mycelium.  Is the type of mushroom used to inoculate the soil critical or can I use almost any fungal source?  I have several large oak logs from a tree that came down in a storm about a year ago.  They have some spectacular fungal growth on parts of the logs.  I was wondering if I could collect them and grind them into a slurry in the blender and pour them on the piles that I want to inoculate?  I do realize that this would often never produce edible mushrooms, but would the mycelium do the same job for the soil even if it is from inedible types?

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Ralph



For contaminate remediation we do need to be mindful of the job we are wanting the mycelium to do. Many of the lignin feeding (wood rotting) fungi don't do much at breaking down the chemical compounds we consider harmful contaminates. There are species that do a fine job of breaking down those compounds and for those situations only do we need to know which species we are using. Those species include Oyster, wine cap and chanterelle.  When we are simply wanting wood chips reduced to organic matter we can use any of the species we can find since we aren't trying to get harmful compounds broken into pieces.

Redhawk  (great question by the way)
 
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: South Carolina 8a
60
hugelkultur dog foraging cooking rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tim Kivi wrote:A few weeks ago I mulched heavily with fresh arborist wood chips. I’ve seen on tv that using freshly chopped wood as mulch can cause yellowing if leaves. Some of my leaves are falling off too.

I’m wondering if this is something that is able to kill the trees and plants, or if it’s just a temporary problem that will fix itself as the mulch slowly breaks down? It’s the start of summer here and it’s weird seeing roses and a mulberry tree losing all their leaves.




Were you able to solve the problem yet?

I had a similar issue with my meyer lemon tree, but it turns out my issue was mulching in direct contact with the trunk. Some trees/shrubs can take heavy mulching, some can take light mulching, and some can't take any. Some trees/shrubs are even sensitive to heavy much away from the trunk, as they have very shallow roots, like azalea.

I would look into the specific needs of the plants you are having yellowing with to find the answer.
 
Every time you till, you lose 30% of your organic matter. But this tiny ad is durable:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic