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Huge Pile of Mulched Trees is Starting to Heat Up

 
Stephen Houser
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Hello,

A few days ago, I had a few tree leads that were leaning over the fence chopped down and mulched up. I had the fellas leave the mulch in the yard because, why throw it away, right? Well, the pile is about 5 feet high and 6 feet wide. The trees (a sweet gum and several elms) were mulched up with all their green leaves still attached, so we have a pretty good amount of nitrogen and a whole lot of carbon in there. Well, the pile is really starting to heat up. I mean really hot. We've had a few gentle rains, and my though is this.... what is it going to take to turn this pile of green wood chips and leaves into compost? I have made black gold in a tumbler before using vege scraps and a cardboard, but this is a whole new world for me. Is it just wishful thinking that I can actually turn this into some good compost?

I'd also like to add that I have a plentiful supply of weeds, grass clippings, and coffee grounds that I can add in. I usually feed these things to the worms in my worm been, but heck, I might give this a try too, escpecially since it is already so hot after one day.

I really look forward to everyone's input on this.

Stephen
 
Jamie Davis
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Nitrogen, or as i like to call it, urigation.
 
Stephen Houser
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Jamie Davis wrote:Nitrogen, or as i like to call it, urigation.


My dogs seem to be helping me with that quite a bit.
 
Marco Banks
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If your pile is in a spot where you don't have to move it, then let it sit for a year -- keeping it wet by taking a pee (or two) on it nightly, and hitting it with the garden hose a couple times a week.

One problem with fresh wood chips in a pile is that you get a lot of mold quickly developing, so turning them exposes you to all those mold spores. But if you just leave them there, they will break down. That's why when I get a load of wood chips, I try to move them within a few days, and if I can't do that, I try to keep them from getting wet. Breathing mold spores is not a good idea.

Or you can put those chips down as mulch and they'll quickly break down that way, although without the mold problem. Either way, it's a win.
 
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