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Mulching with big chunks of rotting wood  RSS feed

 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3734
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Anyone mulch with big chunks of rotting wood? Any reason not to do it?

Backstory:
I can't start my chipper shredder. I'm not sure if this is because I'm not strong enough to pull start it or what? I bought this electric one:

which was a disaster. Poorly written manual. Jammed after 5 minutes. Returned it 3 hours after purchase.

I could buy another yard of bark mulch but I've got lots of wood laying around rotting. I'd like to use the mulch around newly planted saplings to help suppress grass/weeds.

Thoughts
 
Steve Hoskins
Posts: 65
Location: NW lower Michigan
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Yes, here and there.

I don't have a problem after two years of doing so.

I have not blanketed an entire area, I tend to make little piles between plants, or leave them in log form if they don't crumble in transit.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I do this also...not exactly covering the soil but in rings around certain plants and fruit trees...no problem that I have noticed. i really like the idea, we just don't have enough rotted wood handy to do it with. Our spent shiitakes logs are slowly making their way in as 'mulch' and buried wood. We don't have and never have had a chipper so I've nothing to compare.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Cj - an axe or sledge hammer will bust large chunks up quickly to make them less obtrusive. Otherwise well rotted wood sounds like ideal mulch!
 
John Elliott
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When the opportunity presents itself, I do. For instance, my neighbor decided it was time for a 15' tall snag to come down before it fell across his driveway. I gladly pitched in with the labor on this task to make sure that the carcass would be dragged over to the fence on my side, where I could break it down further at my leisure.

The problem I see is getting it when it is "just right". In my version of the Goldilocks story, she is traipsing through the woods, looking for something to mulch her garden with. The termite infested oak branch which crumbles to sawdust when you pick it up is "too soft". The branch that fell in last week's windstorm is "too hard". But the old log that the bess beetles have been working on, the one that easily fills your shovel with crumbly material when you jab at it is "just right".

Another way to tell is the amount of lizard activity around the log. If the 5-lined skinks are quite active dashing in and out of the log, the inside is quite crumbly, because that is where they like to lay their eggs. When the neighbor's tree came down, there were some skinks that were unhappy that they were being evicted. I think they have gotten over it, for the number living under my back deck seems to be increasing.
 
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