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rotten woodsy material question  RSS feed

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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Ok so I've been building these trails back through my woods. I'm coming across an awful lot of branches that when I pick them up to move them they are totally rotten, just crumble in my hands..some have moss and some have fungi on them..but i've been piling these along the trails sides, just off the trails.

My question is ..I know these materials are very fertile, but what should I plant in these piles?

My goal is...I would like to use these trails through the woods as access to some food for people and for animals.

I hope to take cuttings of many of my existing plants, such as some of my seedless grapes, berry bushes like blueberries, other berry bearing shrubs, i hope to plant fruit and nut trees in a few of the more open areas as well as some more hardwoods for future firewood, etc.

some of the shrubs i have that i can be taking cuttings of are russian, autumn olive and goumi, hawthorne, beraberry, elderberry, blueberry, serviceberry, mountain ash, snowberry, winterberry, black,, gold and red raspberry, blackbery, hawthorne, barberry, etc...

I also thought I would keep an eye out for good buys on fruit trees to put into the woods..right now i have 6 pear, a dozen apple, 4 cherry, plum, several peaches, fruit cocktail tree, etc..and I'm thinking some of the more shade tolerant fruit trees could be put into the woods.oh i have 3 mulberry babies too and a baby paw paw.

one thing i would really LOVE to have growing back here is fungi as well, there are a few morels that pop up back in this area, if we haven't destroyed them by all the work in the woods..but i was wondering if there are any fungi that i could innoculate into the woods that would evenetually breed and multiply naturally back in this lovely rotty stuff?

i also am aware that rotting aspen logs are good for some fungi, have a lot of rotting aspen and wild cherry logs back in this woods

advice wanted, zone 4/5 Michigan...woods mostly aspen, wild cherry, maple, ash and oak with some alder
 
rose macaskie
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in th e outside parts of the cafes, where they have tables on the pavement, this summer, in madrid, they had some tubes hanging from the trees that produce a spray to cool down the air, it seems there is a great proliferation of such sprays i thought that they woudl be useful for propogating cuttings, to keep the air humid wher your cuttings wher so they don't dry out could also be bad for them making them go moldy.
  Do you propogate yours in your green house?
    I have grown lots of fruit trees not very big yet by throwing the stones of fruit on to my flower bed and being careful when weeding it not to weed them out, apricots and cherries and plums. agri rose macaskie.
 
Brenda Groth
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Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i believe maybe you misunderstood my question, i have no problems with my cuttings, my questions are what type of things might be suggested to plant in the rotted plant material..and if possibly it might support some types of mushrooms that would maybe naturalize in my woodsy area..

i have been sitting these spongy rotted branches and logs along side my trails and wish to be planting all kinds of food forest type plants along the trail, and was wondering which type of plants would be best to utilize this material..thanks for the input ..
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Brenda, I often wish I had your growing conditions!  If I did, I would probably try to inoculate with as many kinds of edible fungi as would grow.  There are many available from places like fungi perfecti.  I've tried to get some mushrooms started here, but it is too dry most of the time. 
 
Brenda Groth
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Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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thanks for the source info Ludi ..I am very thankful for our soil and growing conditions, I do admit to being blessed in that respect, although some people shy away from our hard winters.

i know very little about mushrooms, however we do gather morels in the spring and we do see some other edible ones that i can recognize including inky caps and puffballs around..i have tried the latter but not the inky caps..usually catch them at the inky state.

i should try to find a good book on edible mushrooms and do some research on what ones will grow in the conditions that i have....i just honestly don't know where to start.

one year we "woodchipped" a bunch of trees and used the chippings as paths where we had a food forest garden, (our son's house is there now)...and the morels that grew on those paths were fantastic !!!
 
                                                                    
Posts: 114
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
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Brenda:

The rotting wood is wonderful food for all types of vegatation.  So, I would think about what foods you need more of and use that for a starting point in your selection process.

It is also nice to line paths with flowering plants for the way they cheer the heart. Orchids and lady slippers may not produce food but do add to the diversity.

Some mushrooms are primary decomposers such as Shiitake and Oyster.
Others are secondary decomposers such as Portabello. 
You will be able to grow the latter as primary decomposers need newly dead timber to grow in.

If there are trees near the path you could choose a vine in places.  That way the fruit could grow over the path for easy monitoring.

If there is a margin in the path a berry bush might find enough room.

I think what you have identified is a valuable source of fertility in the rotting wood. 



 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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Campy ..there are both dead and alive wood, but the wood that I was speaking of in the original post was the dead rotted wood.

along side the paths I have identified several deceased large aspen trees as well, some have broken off at the top and the tops still partially attached have fallen to the ground, still partly standing..i have thought much about growing vines up over these already dead but still partially or totally standing trees, but still leaving them for the woodpeckers and other animals that like dead trees..

this is where i though of putting the grape cuttings and maybe some woodbine or honeysuckle vines.

hubby said he thought it would be nice to grow vines over the pathway, which is true as long as they don't inhibit use of the paths too much.

i hope to put cuttings from several of my blueberry bushes near the path where the soil would be right for them, as it would be really nice to have them where you couild reach down and pick them..i have black berry and raspberry (wild) brambles along one path that will be at arms length from the path as well.

(i have all 3 in my food forest garden in the back yard as well also)..

i was looking at possibly buying some honeyberry vines this year..and i have a lot of both seedless and antique seeded grapevines..plenty to take cuttings of to put over dead or even live trees in the woods (we have fox grapes that grow wild in some of our woods aloready)..and we also have wild clematis vines that are in bloom right now (white ..probably sweet autumn) ..

i do need to do more study on fungi, as i really don't have any real knowledge of grwoing any other than morels..but i have heard taht some will grow on newly cut aspen logs..and i have a few broken aspen trees (tops broke bottoms still alive) that will be cut down this fall..so that is a possibility as well..

i do plan to put flowers in the woods and near the paths but not righ up to the paths, as i prefer to have the "close to path" areas things that can be reached from the path and picked for food or whatever other needs..

i have already tossed a lot of wildflwoer seeds into the woods..such as foxgloves, violets, columbines etc..and hope to transplant some daylillies and hostas in the woods as well..some of the more open sunny meadowy areas i hope to put in wildflowers too..this woods covers about 40 acres, we own a section in the center, our son owns to our east and our neighbors own to our west.. (the larger part), and they are putting trails through their woods as well, and planting things like elderberries and others..our trails will connect at our property lines..so we can share.

my son walked back and looked at the trails that i put in and he had suggestions for doing a few things with the backhoe he is renting this weekend..so we'll see what comes of that (we are doing a deeper and larger dig on our pond over labor day weekend)
 
Maybe he went home and went to bed. And took this tiny ad with him:
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