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Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio of Entire Trees  RSS feed

 
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Does anyone know what the Carbon:Nitrogen ratio is for any species of tree when chipped leaves and all?

I've seen this quote elsewhere on the net, which shows a pretty huge range:

46.1 to 152.1 Range

Freshwater Biology
Angela B. Moline &
N.L. Poff
2008
Page 1015 Table 1

I have never seen values above 80:1 before.

Two other trees were listed:
Saltceder 31:1 to 83:1
and
Russian olive 15:1 to 30:1



I'm just trying to get a sense for what it would be when chipping thick tropical brush. I want to know what I should add as far as manure in order to get the right ratio of 27:1 and end up with compost the fastest  from the chipped piles. I suppose it would also depend a lot on the amount of wood. In the above quote Russian Olive ratios sound a bit off to me. Chipping a russian olive would produce a perfect compost pile.

Does anyone have a link to a compost calculator? There used to be one I knew about on the net, but the page doesn't appear to exist anymore.

Yes, I know this is kind of like asking how big a pumpkin is...
 
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Trees are roughly 80-100 C/N.
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Ramial woochip = 1)no leaves, 2)no conifers, 3)only 'branches' less than 7cm/2.8inch
Have a avg ratio of 30:1 but the range is 15:1 for leaf stem to 170:1 for thick part of the branches (2.8inches) for specific species
Most active growing grass/legume/vegetation leaves have an avg ratio of 15-25 to 1, so I think it is safe to assume that said number is the same for tree leaves.
Bark and Heartwood have a avg ratio of 400:1

So if we are talking about a 10ft super-dwarf apricot tree that has a mature thickness of 2.8inches, it really never qualify as a "tree' and will have an avg the same as ramial woodchip of 30:1

If we were to focus on a goumi 'plant' that never really reaches 2inch thickness and is also a Nitrogen fixer similar to legumes the avg ratio will be even lower than raminal woodchip and closer to legumes so 19:1

If you have a oak 'tree' that is young and only 10ft tall it would be considered 100% ramial woodchip and thus 30:1
If that same oak tree was 30yrs old it would only be 20% ramial woochip and 80% regular woodchip so 20% at a 30:1 ration and 80% at a 400:1 ratio for a combined ratio of 326:1
Now if that tree was young and only 18ft it might be 70% ramial woodchip and 30% regular woodchip .........So it depends and you would have to give more specific info.

But seeing as how you said brush. I am just going to avg it and call all of it 3inches or less ramial woochip with a C:N of 30:1

Now rye grass that is freshly cut has a 26:1 ratio but if we sun dry it it goes up to 80:1.
That 80:1 is the same number quoted for dried autumn leaves from trees which makes me think the growing summer leaves have a regular ratio of 25:1
So try not to sun dry the chipped ramial brush, because just like dry rye the ratio will go up to the 80-160 range.

 
pollinator
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This is an interesting question, but I just take the general strategy of nitrogen/nutrient rich material going up high on the property/garden, and carbon rich materials forming a base or catchment for when it runs off or gets kicked down hill by birds. This lets composting and soil accumulation happen more passively, I just have to "be the salmon" and carry those nutrients upstream to the high points.
 
Windy Huaman
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S Bengi wrote:Ramial woochip = 1)no leaves, 2)no conifers, 3)only 'branches' less than 7cm/2.8inch
Have a avg ratio of 30:1 but the range is 15:1 for leaf stem to 170:1 for thick part of the branches (2.8inches) for specific species
Most active growing grass/legume/vegetation leaves have an avg ratio of 15-25 to 1, so I think it is safe to assume that said number is the same for tree leaves.
Bark and Heartwood have a avg ratio of 400:1

So if we are talking about a 10ft super-dwarf apricot tree that has a mature thickness of 2.8inches, it really never qualify as a "tree' and will have an avg the same as ramial woodchip of 30:1

If we were to focus on a goumi 'plant' that never really reaches 2inch thickness and is also a Nitrogen fixer similar to legumes the avg ratio will be even lower than raminal woodchip and closer to legumes so 19:1

If you have a oak 'tree' that is young and only 10ft tall it would be considered 100% ramial woodchip and thus 30:1
If that same oak tree was 30yrs old it would only be 20% ramial woochip and 80% regular woodchip so 20% at a 30:1 ration and 80% at a 400:1 ratio for a combined ratio of 326:1
Now if that tree was young and only 18ft it might be 70% ramial woodchip and 30% regular woodchip .........So it depends and you would have to give more specific info.

But seeing as how you said brush. I am just going to avg it and call all of it 3inches or less ramial woochip with a C:N of 30:1

Now rye grass that is freshly cut has a 26:1 ratio but if we sun dry it it goes up to 80:1.
That 80:1 is the same number quoted for dried autumn leaves from trees which makes me think the growing summer leaves have a regular ratio of 25:1
So try not to sun dry the chipped ramial brush, because just like dry rye the ratio will go up to the 80-160 range.



That's just amazing. When I started this thread, I honestly wasn't expecting anyone to have this figured out. But you have it dialed down. How do you know all that?

Honestly, that's really helpful information for me. I wish I could give you more specific info, but I'm still about a year away from a serious property search, so I'm just trying to learn what I can in the meantime to get prepared. I've already paid a non-refundable 50% deposit on 10,000 productive tree saplings to be ready for delivery in December 2019.
The tentative plan is to clear the land, and immediately run all the cleared vegetation through a chipper, and layer with manure in a 3 part "chips" : 1 part manure. But if the brush is young enough, it sounds like it's not even necessary to add the manure for the piles to turn into good compost.

Otherwise, I'm thinking about re-spreading the chips back out evenly across the cleared landscape, because it will protect the soil from erosion caused by torrential rainfall. However, it would be a little more difficult to plant saplings in the ground with a mulch layer on the surface. Also, I have a custom pioneer crop seed mixture planned, and I'm not sure it would successfully grow through a mulch layer.

So, my tentative plan is to pile all the chipped brush into windrows (layering with manure if necessary) to create a massive amount of compost, which will be applied to the saplings 2-months after planting them.  The disadvantage is that the soil remains exposed to the elements at least until my custom pioneer crop seed mixture establishes itself. I'm definitely open to suggestion, but it seems every approach has its disadvantages.
 
S Bengi
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I like the plans that you listed so far. I have a few additional comments.

It sounds like overall you want to prep your soil for your food forest.

Earthworks
You didn't mention any type of earthworks, I strongly suggest some (swale/berms/terrace)
Carbon
I like your currents plans of adding raminal woodchip, (straw, biochar, etc are other options)
I like the idea of having alternating 8ft rows of woodchip and then 8ft of no woodchip
Minerals
Sea90, Rockdust, compost, manure, Azomite, and others can add to your soil fertility
Soil Life
Mushroom Slurries, Worm Tea, Compost and my favorite Bare Root Soak
Cover Crop
I like a 80% legume family coverage, esp dutch clover
20% = onion/garlic family, thyme/mint family, carrot/dill family, daikon radish-comfrey family

Layout
I really like your windrow idea of alternating rows.
8ft wide rows or woodchip, possible even some oyster and wine cap mushroom growing in there.
8ft wide rows of NO Woodchip in the center of this I would plant your seedling to get a overall spacing of 16ft
8ft wide rows is the perfect size for machinery too, esp with 100,000 seedlings
I would also plant the cover crops listed above too, they don't get too tall either, while improving your soil


 
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