• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Lots of dead pines

 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 280
Location: North Carolina zone 7
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello friends. One section of my property has several dozen dead pine trees in various states of decay. Any thought on what I should do with them? They are much to big to be chipped.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Scott,

Do you know the species? Can you send me a link with that? My immediate thoughts for conifers are west coast specific. At least in my experience which is around the wet coast.
 
David Wood
Posts: 50
Location: Sth Gippsland and Melbourne
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wood from many of the the pine species rot quickly if in contact with the ground. This means that they're not much use for posts. They will last longer in an above ground use where they're exposed to weather. So if you need some rails for a post and rail fence you could perhaps make some thick boards using a chainsaw or splitting with wedges. But the rails won't last as long as rails made from more durable species. If the trees have been down for a while and the wood has already started decomposing then you could help this process along by splitting the logs and leaving them in contact with the ground. Pinus radiata, for example, is grown extensively as a plantation tree in SE Australia and for shelterbelts etc They rot in a few years if left on the ground. Rotting in situ is far better for the soil IMO than piling them up and burning them.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
With enough cool weather and moisture and full contact with the ground they may be able to produce a good crop of fungi and act as nurse logs. Hemlock is a spectacular species for starting elderberry and others. I am not quite sure about your pine out there just yet.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 280
Location: North Carolina zone 7
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David, I may could get some rails out of these but they are in bad shape even only being down a short time. I suspect root rot but some were dead at the top prior to falling.
Landon, I would love to use them in some fashion as a growing medium! These would make great hugelkulture material except they are pine which I've read is a no no. If you guys have any thoughts on how I could use these chopped up into big rotting sections I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 
Roy Hinkley
Posts: 213
Location: S. Ontario Canada
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Had a bunch too. Nothing wrong with using pine logs here.
I didn't have time to dig swales or anything so I decided to go the slow approach as an experiment. We laid the logs (about 100 feet worth) on contour on a south facing slope thinking we'll chop and drop anything along them and eventually we'll have some contours on the slope.
I did bring a few yards of soil and spread about 4" of soil on the downslope edge of the logs, one or two shovels wide. Just enough to make a slight berm to hold water back from flowing freely.
Sprinkled some leftover seeds in the soil, radishes, turnips, borage, Daikon, one amaranth came up (red). Mulch on the seed bed.
Everything is very lush downslope of the logs, the logs themselves are rotting nicely and I guess creating an edge effect. All sorts of wildlife started showing up that you never saw there before, frogs and snakes and birds in the first year.
Picked a few turnips and radishes but mostly left everything to go to seed.
This pic is the late summer of the first year, 2014. Logs laid in early spring. I have trees planned for this in a year or two and another row of logs 20 or 30 feet farther downslope eventually.

 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 280
Location: North Carolina zone 7
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bravo Roy! I like the approach and the results speak for themselves. I got a barren hillside this would be good on. Thanks for including the picture also. It really helps to see what you are talking about.
 
Roy Hinkley
Posts: 213
Location: S. Ontario Canada
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Couple more pics for you.
One just after laying logs, some soil there to be spread. The logs are quite long, I did my best to average out the contours. Another of some radish going to seed, borage flowers (blue) visible .
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 280
Location: North Carolina zone 7
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pretty darn spectacular Roy. I hope to tote some onto my slope tomorrow. Thanks to you all again. I learn so much from you all..
 
And now I present magical permaculture hypno cards. The idea is to give them to people that think all your permaculture babble is crazy talk. And be amazed as they apologize for the past derision, and beg you for your permaculture wisdom. If only there were some sort of consumer based event coming where you could have an excuse to slip them a deck ... richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic