I am getting ready to build a hugelkultur bed- most of the logs I have available are still green aspen. Has anyone used aspen? Any issues with the limbs rooting and trying to send up shoots? We also have lots of willow brush. Is that something you could put in a hugelkultur bed? Thanks for any thoughts!
Howdy Laurel, welcome to permies. I am just getting started with aspen hugels so haven't seen any results yet. I have several old beaver dams, which are basically aspen and willow hugels and it seems like the willows grow more than the aspens.
I don't know aspen, but several other species of poplar that I know are extremely vigorous sprouters and rooters, so if aspens are like other poplars, then yes, freshly cut logs buried in hugel could possibly sprout and root. When trying to plant poplars, I've had much less success rooting when we let the dormant sticks sprout before planting, or when we cut already leafed-out branches for planting. One thing you can do to weaken them is, if they are cut when dormant, let them sit out in the sun and sprout some good leaves, then pull those all off. Or perhaps cut them down when they are already in full vigorous leaf, leave them out to wilt in the sun, and then hopefully they'll be pretty weak.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.