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pine trees for H.K.  RSS feed

 
adam gamble
Posts: 7
Location: Lavelle PA 17943 6a
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hello fello permies,

  My name is Adam and i have lots of pine trees on my property.  In fact, in the mountains here - they are prevelent.  Want to start a Hugelkulture and would like to know about using pine for wood logs?  will sap be a hinderence - and will that work?
thanks
 
Neil G Jay
Posts: 29
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From what I've read Pine tends to take longer to break down because of the sap content. But I used pine in my HK beds that had been cut down and into big chunks and weathered for some time and some of it had already started rotting so that may be the route to try. Cut it up, leave the open ends open to the weather for a while then use it for HK beds.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 507
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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If you make sure to include lots of the branches and needles in the mound they should break down a lot faster than the big pieces of log so don't waste those!  They'll make up for that slow break down quite a bit, and remember that slow decomposition isn't necessarily a bad thing, it'll just take a little longer to get into full swing, but you're mound won't need to be rebuilt or slump down into nothing as fast....
 
Ian Rule
Posts: 89
Location: Nevada County, CA
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books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Howdy! I also live in heavy pine woods (second growth, not the healthiest). Me and mine have found that pine wood, sap, needles, its all very acidic, but only when its standing. If you drop pine logs, let em lie a year and intern them, I see no problems outside of the usual nitrogen lockup (slow growth the first year) and as long as you plan accordingly with some early succession plants, youll do fine. Importantly, Hugelkultur is about making due with what youve got at hand, so Im liable to think any wood that isnt famously hardy will do just fine.

The needles and duff are also great for mulch and soil, but youve gotta chip em or something. It seems like chipped stuff becomes happy, non-acidic soil just fine.(most soil is acidic here, Im only looking for acute increases where I use pine) Ive grown to suspect that the relative allelopathy of Pines is not chemical, but from them dropping cannon(cone-un?)balls before dropping spiny, waterproof needles a foot thick. Pushy Pinus!
 
Greg B Smith
Posts: 54
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Not sure where you are but here in central Mississippi the heat and humidity consumes EVERYTHING! If it touches the earth here the fungus among us will devour it.  It takes about 2 years for a mature pine tree to turn soft enough to fall apart in your hands.  If it is an old tree with a well developed heart then it can last for years without rotting but they are not as common as they used to be.  I am using tons (literally) of pine logs, shavings,  bark,  and needles to compost under my garden beds and orchard.  My plants and trees love it.
 
Jessika Freesum
Posts: 1
Location: Gainesville Florida
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So this thread answered my question about pine, but I have another, I live in the woods with many rotting pine and oak logs everywhere,im going to be building a hk bed but my question is what about those bugs (termites)  that already housed and claimed the rotted logs?
 
Greg B Smith
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Jessika Freesum wrote:So this thread answered my question about pine, but I have another, I live in the woods with many rotting pine and oak logs everywhere,im going to be building a hk bed but my question is what about those bugs (termites)  that already housed and claimed the rotted logs?


Termite poopchicken poop,  rabbit poop,  I'll take it all!

Termites are feeding on the dead wood not the living plants.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 507
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
28
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Jessika, I wouldn't worry about the termites one bit, unless your mounds are in contact with your home.  They'll just convert the wood into soil faster with plenty of fertility added.  Mix in plenty of biochar while you're constructing your mounds and you'll be sitting pretty in your tropical-ish climate!
 
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