I am hoping some folks out there can give my little family some advice.
We live on a little less than quarter acre
in a city
, and are becoming somewhat proficient backyard gardeners with the space we have. When we bought our home 3 years ago the yard
was a jungle of sumac, overgrown forsythia, poison ivy, dying evergreen hedges, and bittersweet. We have been gradually cutting back the forsythia hedge, have removed all the sumac and evergreen hedge stuff, and have been enlarging the veggie garden a bit every year.
We are excited to turn our back yard raised beds into something more self-sustaining, and we're thinking "hugels" since we have all this brush and wood
We also inherited an ENORMOUS and dangerous (because it was rotting inside and dropping large branches on our neighbors!) cluster of ailanthus in the front. Soon after we moved in, we got the electric co. to cut it down for free. We were left with a cluster of 4 stumps that are each 3-5 feet across. We also cut down a big sumac and some ash
branches. We put the wood on Craigslist and people
took lots, but we still have a giant woodpile of all 3 kinds of wood, and the giant ailanthus stumps in the middle of the front yard.
The ailanthus stumps had some fungi
growing on them last year, and the grass has crept back up. We grew some morning glories around/over them and have just let them sit, pulling out any new shoots. I know this wood is not good for plants, but can I try making a small hugel
over the stump with brush and other kinds of wood? We are into the idea of edibles in the front yard for all to see and share, but these stumps are in the way! Could we try transplanting some of our trawberries, perennial
herbs, etc? Or is this area of the yard a lost cause until we can get the stumps out? I guess what I'm trying to ask is... how allelopathic is alianthus, really? Can it be amended and worked with at all? Can I plant an apple tree
6 feet away from the stump, or will the roots underground
have an effect on the soil this far away?
Along these lines, what can I do with all these alianthus logs, besides toast marshmallows in the fire pit? Can I mix a few into my other hugel beds, or should
I avoid them entirely?
Looking forward to advice!