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Mesquite as source wood for char

 
Jack Edmondson
Posts: 233
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Looking for a discussion of mesquite as source wood for making biochar. Anyone use it before? Things to be aware? I have just put a contract on some land that had been very overgrazed two years ago and some length of time before that. The pasture is now full of young mesquite. The soil is damaged, but not eroded, thankfully. I can bring it back to life with some love.

Traditional wisdom holds that one does not want to cut mesquite out of a pasture because of the vigorous regrowth. I am thinking (in permaculture the problem is the answer, right?) the regrowth is exactly what I want. Cut what is standing and burn it for char. Spread this over the pasture. When the regrowth appears continue to cut and char. When I am ready to be rid of the mesquite, I will have depleted much of the energy stores in the roots, and will be able to come back in with a tall legume, like Sunn Hemp, and shade out the weakened mesquite. By then I will have had lots of mass in char and legumes to recover the soil; and no chemicals to kill the plant.

My question is around mesquite as a char source. Thoughts, experiences?
 
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