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Russian Olive Hugelkultur

 
Maria Farb
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Has any one use Russian Olive to make a Huglekulture? If so how does it compare to other huglekultures. We are always trimming off the dead branches and I'd like to use them.
Thank you.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Maria,

I asked Mark Vander Meer and he said that russian olive would be great in a hugelkultur.
 
Maria Farb
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Thank you! We have a pile of cut russian olive about 6 ft tall by 20 feet wide. It will be great to turn it into a huglekulture.
Maria
 
Mark Vander Meer
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To determine the end product or mid decomp products of wood one element I look for is heart wood to sap wood ratio's. The sapwood rots fast and is typically completely decomposed .

Heartwood typically sticks around a while, rots slowly and adds interesting, complex chemicals to the soil.

Russian olive (in my experience only) has a low sap wood to heart wood ratio. That's good for the long term soil stewardship
 
garrett lacey
Posts: 72
Location: Edmonton Alberta
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Based on my observations, Russian Olive rots relatively readily. Also, as it is a nitrogen fixer, the shoots are useful as a source of N
 
mike mclellan
Posts: 93
Location: Helena, MT zone 4
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Maria,
I used the equivalent of ten or more cords of logs, branches, and chips from Russian olive in five different hugelbeds. I saw no evidence of toxicity. All supported plenty of growth. I only wish I had started with a greater depth of soil covering before planting. Looking forward to seeing even better results in their second year this spring/summer. My only complaint is that wood is tough to work with and fights you until it's completely buried. Good luck!
 
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