Cj Sloane wrote:I've been cutting down a bunch of trees, mostly to open up the canopy so I can plant productive trees. I use much of the trunks for mushroom bolts or firewood but I've got lots of tops that I'd like to incorporate into the soil. My soil is heavy clay and thin but great for growing trees.
I haven't had much luck building hugelkultures due to a lack of soil to cover the wood.
I do have a chipper/shredder but it's a little finicky and I can't start it myself.
So... what to do? If I leave the slash in piles it will break down but I feel like there must be a better way. The only thing I can think of is maybe covering the piles with a tarp to speed up
I recently heard a podcast about making bio-char using an open fire.
Dan Boone wrote: small critters move into the pile,
R Scott wrote:This is one of those times renting a bigger machine can be smart money. Rent a big chipper or hire a tree crew to chip them and dump them where you want them.
You can make biochar like the old charcoal methods, but it isn't easy to do efficiently or cleanly.
Rose Pinder wrote:questions:
What are the trees you are cutting down?
How much material is there? What's the largest size branch/limb diameter?
Are you in a forest? How big?
When you say you want to incorporate the woody material into your soil, what is the purpose of this? Is it the soil where you are planting trees, or somewhere else?
How important is it to incoporate the woody material into the soil? Or is there a better solution for your soil and the woody material?
Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau CJ, As you have noticed, worms will come to shaded areas with wood touching the soil, this is because of the many effects that become present where wood and soil meet.
The first thing that happens is that fungi spores get a foot hold this allows other micro organisms to feed and that attracts the worms.
The second thing that happens is that aeration of the soil occurs from the worm activity which lets air into the soil, nutrients from the castings become more and more present also.
The third thing that happens is that the new nutrients provide an environment that promotes seed sprouting.
The Birch tops you are wanting to utilize can be put to very good use by separating them into individual sticks and then laying them in neat stacks...
I hope that you have been able to gather some helpful ideas from this post.