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Conifer and Leylandii Wood Chip  RSS feed

 
Burt Harrison
Posts: 20
Location: Shorpshire, UK
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We have a vast amount of free wood chip, unfortunately over half of it is wood chipped, Conifer and Leylandii, I believe that this wood is acidic when it rots down, and we already have slightly acidic soil. I was at one point considering mixing it with wood ash (which is generally alkaline in nature) and burying it at the bottom of the hugelbeds, but have thought better of this idea as there are too many variables. So that really leaves using it for path mulch around the garden, I feel that the amount of wood chip used for a path is going to be insufficient to have a detrimental effect on the acidity of the surrounding soil. Does anyone have any thoughts on this and what else I can do with all this wood chip?

Cheers folks
Burt
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1621
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I think, although I haven't tested this directly, that mulching with woodchips on the soil surface has minimal affect on soil acidity. Basically, as most wood chips breakdown they tend to drift towards neutral (as does compost for that matter).

My reasoning is that the potential risks (slight possible increase in soil acidity) is massively outweighed by the improvements in soil structure, fertility, moisture retention.

Would I prefer hardwood? Probably. Will I take any and all chips I can get? Absolutely.
 
Burt Harrison
Posts: 20
Location: Shorpshire, UK
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Cheers Michael

We have loads delivered here at the farm from the local forestry guys, unfortunately we don't get to pick and chose but we also don't have to pay... and I don't like to see such good resources go to waste.
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1621
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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NB: I just spread a bunch of conifer chips that were chipped and dumped in a heap last year. In the past month or so they have matured nicely (warm wet weather) and have developed a lovely dark colour and feel soft and moist to the touch. They have been heaped up fro about 9 months I guess. Last week I had a big pile of sycamore chips dumped, and have a good steady source for all types of chips established.
 
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