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Xmas trees as part of a hugel bed?

 
Dave Ball
Posts: 4
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Hi

This is my first post on this site, although I've been reading for a while.

I live in a village in Oxfordshire, UK and have an allotment where I have been growing veggies in the traditional way. I want to build a hugelkultur bed in the new year and have starting gathering wood and manure.

My question is, what are peoples thoughts about using xmas trees within the bed? There will be loads available in the new year and it would be a shame to waste them! From what I have researched it appears it will be OK, but would appreciate any further insight.

Many thanks

Dave
 
Matu Collins
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Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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In the short run pine trends to be acidic, so some might say that this will be sub optimal. If you have lots of other wood to use, I wouldn't go to the trouble of gathering xmas trees but if you're looking for organic matter that's another story.

Where I live there are lots of tree farms and most people buy a cut-your-own or a fresh cut tree. In places where trees are trucked in from elsewhere I have heard that they are sometimes sprayed with fire retardant, which concerns me. I know some farms give you a packet of some chemical to put in the tree's water to keep the needles on longer, anyone know what's in that packet?
 
Nick Merrill
Posts: 8
Location: SW PDX -- Zone 8
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Portland, OR gardener here. We cut our own natural additive-free Xmas trees every year. Got a noble fir last year ($10!) and I cut off the branches and threw the whole trunk in my new hugel bed. (Would've used the branches, too, but I needed them for erosion control.)

I also used a lot of big leaf maple logs and branches, and a few Doug fir logs, but left the western red cedar and holly tree out. Added a few inches worth of half-composted kitchen scraps and oat straw, and some Azomite that was just laying around, and then a few inches of clayey soil excavated from the hugel pit (the bed is dug into the yard about 15" deep), and topped it all off with half compost/half garden soil mix from the local nursery. Harvest was good.

I say go for it, assuming no nasty chemicals on the tree (flock anyone?).
 
Dave Ball
Posts: 4
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Many thanks for your advice! I think I'll give it a go.

Cheers

Dave

 
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