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Mulching decayed Wood

 
Jordan Patrick
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Hi all,
This is probably my first post, so excuse any ignorance. I recently graduated with a degree in Wildlife Science, so that’s where I’m coming from knowledge-wise.
Before I bought my property in 2016, the landowner cleared a few acres and had all the “trash trees” bulldozed to the perimeter of the newly cleared land. These logs are all at the age where their breakdown is good enough to allow me to easily chip off mulch with ease. Is this suitable for use in my garden?
I’ll be leaving plenty of wood piles so I can do my part for any critters that call this home. I’m mainly interested in adding organic matter from my own land into my garden. I’m looking to move in a “back to eden” direction.
Jordan

Additionally, I’m concerned about transferring any unwanted fungi or bacteria into my garden. You know, the stuff that increases disease risks on my plants.
 
Trace Oswald
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I would absolutely use it, and be grateful that it was available.
 
Eric Hanson
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Welcome to Permies Jordan!

I have to agree with Trace.  I believe this would be magnificent bedding and I would love to incorporate as much into the garden as possible.  I think your idea of chipping is sound.  Are there and pieces of wood there that are thick enough to make edges for a raised bed?  Just one possibility.

Personally I love to take local invasive shrubs (they grow everywhere around me), cut them, chip them and Inoculate with wine cap mushrooms.

Great job, and welcome to Permies.

Eric
 
Kc Simmons
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I absolutely do this for my gardens. I have a lot of pecan & oak trees, which are always dropping branches. I also have a ton of baby oaks that come up and need to be cleared.
I use the fallen/cleared stuff to mulch around the pecans (they're about 100 years old so I "baby" them to extend their lifetime), and I use the rest as mulch in the gardens or bury it in a hugel style to help hold water in the soil.

I admit I don't know a lot about the different fungi to know what is good or bad, but if the trees around the areas I get the fallen wood from look okay, I don't really worry about it.
 
Ben Zumeta
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Welcome Jordan, your knowledge will be valuable to this forum.

I think using this wood in your garden  sounds like a good idea, and I agree with the good advice from those above. I don’t know anything about your setup (it can help those wanting to better answer questions to fill in a general location and description of your interests  in your profile), but this wood could also be used in:


-hugelkulture (nurselog mimicking) raised beds, and it would not have to be broken up

- in a chicken run, where the birds would peck and scratch at the insects in it, breaking it into mulch sized pieces and mixing it with manure and feathers for a pretty ideal fertilizer mix of carbon (from wood) and nutrients (from birds)

- inoculated with fungus as mentioned in a prior post, then after it’s spent, used for either of the above before going in the garden

- it is also providing benefit to the place it already is and could be utilized for a hedgerow or other planting
 
Leigh Tate
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Welcome Jordan!

I use a lot of woodchips for mulch and compost. Many of the fungi you'll see are desirable.





They make nutrients available to plants
 
Jordan Patrick
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Eric Hanson wrote:Welcome to Permies Jordan!

I have to agree with Trace.  I believe this would be magnificent bedding and I would love to incorporate as much into the garden as possible.  I think your idea of chipping is sound.  Are there and pieces of wood there that are thick enough to make edges for a raised bed?  Just one possibility.

Personally I love to take local invasive shrubs (they grow everywhere around me), cut them, chip them and Inoculate with wine cap mushrooms.

Great job, and welcome to Permies.

Eric



The wife and I were talking about that today. We are expanding rapidly now that I’ve graduated. Income is still tight, so this is going to be our approach at incorporating raised beds. If I was smart, I’d have invested in an Alaskan mill and a few extra chains. Luckily, he power company just cleared all the power lines, so there’s plenty or tall, thin Tulip Poplars and Ailanthus trunks lying around, I’m searching for any you Black Locust trees thatve been cut. I know about their rot resistance and think that’ll be appreciated in 5 years.
Jordan
 
Jordan Patrick
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Leigh Tate wrote:Welcome Jordan!

I use a lot of woodchips for mulch and compost. Many of the fungi you'll see are desirable.





They make nutrients available to plants


I’m aware of what decomposers do for the ecosystem, I just never thought to apply it to my own homestead. I love all the practical solutions being shared.

I’ll update my profile if I can figure out.
Jordan
 
Eric Hanson
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Patrick,

If you have all those poplar poles lying about, they could make wonderful raised bed edges.  They won’t last very long but who cares.  You can replace them with permanent edges later.

At the moment I have 3 raised beds, two about 15 feet long and one over 30 feet long.  All are Oak and hickory that fell years ago in a big storm.  I salvaged them for garden beds.  That was 10 years ago and those edges are looking pretty bad by now.  I have already replaced the logs on one bed with a permanent edge and the other beds are close behind.

But these are only suggestions and take or leave them as you wish.

Good Luck!

Eric
 
Jordan Patrick
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The poplar poles are just about a log in length. They are all a few hundred yards from my garden and taking the truck back there is a safety hazard as well as a puncture risk.
So then, the question becomes: What’s the best way to drag those suckers out? That’s where I get stumped 😁. I figured I could mulch with them until the arborist brings the chips in cutting season. If I could get some of the larger ones up to the garden for use as raised bed borders, I’d be thrilled. Maybe buck them and and split into halves?

Sounds like an ibuprofen night to me.
 
Aj Hans
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For digging holes, moving logs and whatnot, I'm a big fan of machinery. This is the second excavator I've owned. I have a hard time imagining life without one. However, a small tractor, like the little Kubota in the background, will drag logs, smooth driveways, mow grass,  and dig holes just fine if you are patient.


 
Eric Hanson
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Jordan,

I don’t know what your budget looks like, but given that you are just starting out, I really understand how tight a budget can be.  I have been there as well.

So I have a couple of options for you.

First off, you might be able to rent a small tractor for a day and pull logs to your hearts content without doing anything bad to your back.

Secondly, maybe you would be interested in a log arch.  These can be amazingly useful devices and can save a lot of back ache.  If interested, I would recommend starting at logrite.com.

Third option, you could possibly make a little log cart.  I did this to help clear some deadfall in my woods.  I made mine for about 50 bucks, and this can be a great option as long as you have something with which to pull it.

Any of these options can be a winner, but maybe before choosing one of the above options, we should look at your equipment.  You said you have a truck.  Do you have a garden tractor, 4 wheeler, or any type of off-road vehicle?  Could you buy or borrow one?  It seems like the electrical right-of-way could be a gold mine for wood if you could get there.  Maybe you could cut a path in?  I had to do this once.

At any rate, please let me know what you think and we can go from there.

Eric
 
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