Two years ago a large, mature sugar maple fell on my property. I cut and repurposed what pieces I could but the main trunk mainly laid in place. Over that time I slowly added other organic matter from around my property.
Today I was able to get some machinery, tighten the mound of wood chunks together, top it with leaves, wood chips and 15 yards of top soil.
Planning on just growing some cover crops this year, perhaps some pollinators. But curious to see how others handle erosion.
Planting it with annual seed that mats really densely and then trimming before the seeds can fall could add exudates and biomass while holding the loose surface soil in place. Perhaps wet it with a mist spray setting broad cast seed and then tamp it down?
Another cool thing if you had more roundwood available would be to make a terrace frame to hols it in place and allow you to walk up it without disturbing soil and plants.
Something like this but with beautiful roundwood notched into place instead of my silly blue lines.
Clay’s ideas is phenomenal but beware of settling for the first two years. If you could somehow terrace from a solid surface (the ground) upward that would keep things in place. If the edges are simply on top of the soil they’ll sink and settle as well.
Scott Stiller wrote:Clay’s ideas is phenomenal but beware of settling for the first two years. If you could somehow terrace from a solid surface (the ground) upward that would keep things in place. If the edges are simply on top of the soil they’ll sink and settle as well.
Yeah, I am okay with some erosion, since it is quite large. I guess my major concern is for the young sugar maple I planted before the mound and now is a little close. Perhaps the fire pit area on the opposite side, but there is ample space there. I was thinking of using the method that this old house shows here for stairs...but on a slightly larger scale.
That video was a quality find Jay. I really enjoyed it. The young maple could be in the way of the construction but it’s not too close to the mound. I’ve been making hugelkultur’s for a decade and the best place to plant tree in next to it but not in it. All of my tree guilds started with a hugelkultur. The trees were planted alongside while the annuals went on top and around the sides. I look forward to seeing your progress.
Location: Where ohio kentucky and west virginia meet
Those are some slick looking stairs!
I like the idea of including an anchor or sleeper log.
I think Scott is referring more to the settling than the erosion.
Perhaps if you set an anchor and used wider logs that weren't as tall then you could account for settling allowing the timbers to slowly half bury themselves and fall closer together and be attached at the tops later if ever.
Can't wait to see what you do with that super cool hugel!