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Would this work?

 
Peggy Marko
Posts: 6
Location: New Hampshire, zone 5
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I am new to both permaculture and hugelkultur, but am having a ball learning, and making plans for when the snow melts. I have an area that is somewhat cleared, with a number of saplings 2-6 years old. There are also a few old pine trees that fell about 10 years ago, just rotting slowly on the ground. We have no heavy equipment to move the old trees. Wondering if using an old tree as the base of the hugelbed would work? We have lots of saplings (beach, ash, and maple) to add to the pile. New England climate, zone 5.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Yes, it works. If it's been laying there that long, it may crumble if you try to move it. Down here where the ground never freezes, it only takes 3 or 4 years to get to that state.
 
Peggy Marko
Posts: 6
Location: New Hampshire, zone 5
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Thanks John. That will make things so much easier!
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3658
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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Howdy Peggy, welcome to permies!
Let us know how it comes out.
What else have you been trying?
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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I normally wouldn't use pine for my hugelkulture but if they are that rotten I think it would be fine. The only mistake I made with my first hugelkulture is I made it too wide. Other than that I've made them all shapes and sizes. Keep us posted on your progress.
 
A.J. Gentry
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Ohio
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Peggy --

Welcome to permies!

I am also just gaa-gaa for hugelkultur! I am out here in Ohio.

I've been reading and learning a lot. Maybe one of these resources would be helpful to you as well.

Books --
gaia's garden chapter 4 Bringing the Soil to Life has a blurb on 'Woody Ways to Build Soil'
sepp holzer's Permaculture Chapter 1 has very nice color photos and descriptions for building raised beds (which contain woody material).

Podcasts --
I am not sure how many of the podcasts you may have listened to. There are a few podcasts Paul has that I found interesting regarding hugels too.
Podcast #44 is a review of Gaia's Garden chapter 4.
Podcast #172 dealt with size of hugel and very helpful regarding plant / seed location in the bed.
Podcast #228 Paul and geoff lawton chat about swale and hugel combinations and cold and warm climate.
Podcast #81 (or maybe it was 82) is the review of sepp holzer's permaculture book chapter 1. There are 4 or 5 podcasts for this book and chapter 1. I think 81 or 82 is where they talk about the "woody raised beds."

Good luck.

A.J.



 
Peggy Marko
Posts: 6
Location: New Hampshire, zone 5
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Hey thanks for the warm welcome! I've been wandering around the spot where I want to put the beds, and seeing if I can let the downed trees suggest a plan. One tree is almost cross-wise (with a slight dip to the east) on a south facing slope, so I have some thought on playing with terracing for that one. There is also a 14 year old brush pile that I've just kept adding more material to. Never got around to burning because I was afraid for the critters who may be living in it. Will definitely check those resources you listed, A.J. - thanks so much! Kinda glad it's winter, so there's a chance to learn a bit before diving in, and to spend time just wandering and practicing the first principle. Great to be here with you all!
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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