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Mulch driveway?

 
Seth Veith
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I've got 40 acres grown up in hedge and cedar among many other native KS trees I plan to trim some trees up to 7'and completely remove some. I also need to put a driveway in basically all the way across the property which is a big chunk of money for me. Seems a waste to burn all this wood that I could mulch. So my idea is to use it for a driveway. Anyone ever done this? There are obvious pros and cons but I think I could stand a little more maintenance than I would have with gravel and I think it would look better. Tho one thing I do like is the cedar and Osage orange won't rot easily on the other hand with a lot of water it will float away.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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If you have 40 acres there's no need to burn any of the material. You can just make low piles of it or even windrows on contour to stop erosion. There's rarely a need to burn branches. I don't know why people insist on doing it, there's nothing good about it.

If you can afford to make chips from the material, it can make a nice driveway, but a driveway takes literally tons of it. You might want to use road base/gravel for the parts of the drive you plan to use most, and put chips on the other parts.

 
Marco Banks
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Try it and see. The big stuff can be piled on the side of the road, while the leafy/branchy stuff would go on the road itself. As it dries out and as you drive over it, it will breakdown.

One thing you'll find is that as you pile up the mulch, the soil will become more permeable beneath, which will greatly increase water infiltration. So while you worry about heavy rains carrying that material away, what you may find is that instead, you'll get much better infiltration and less run-off.

I create brush piles below my fruit trees on the hillside. I throw the large branches down first and create a kind of organic terrace. Particularly on south-facing hillsides, it keeps the sun from baking the soil on the downhill side of the tree. The soil temperature stays much much cooler, the soil retains moisture better, it creates a fantastic habitat for lizards, snakes, fungi, microbes and other living things, and eventually, that organic material breaks-down and feeds the soil. Take your time and lay the branches down, building a kind of "beaver dam" of branches on contour below the trees.

I agree with Tyler: never burn anything organic. Even slow to rot stuff like osage orange, use it somewhere. I can never get enough biomass and I've only got a fraction of the land you have.
 
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