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Cedar wood, wood chips, and sawdust for composting and soil building  RSS feed

 
Posts: 44
Location: Western Washington
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I know that everything I've seen says not to use cedar for garden building due to the chemicals it exudes to stomp out the competition.

That being said, I live in the pacific north west and can get a virtually unlimited supply of western red cedar.

I understand that the living trees exude this chemical.. but I'm wondering if they actually exude them... OR if the wood itself contains said chemicals.

It seems to me, just looking in the forests where I live, that the wood/bark/leaves probably don't contain said chemicals as mushrooms, moss, and a variety of plants grow right on dead cedar trees.

So.. my question is if anyone here has actually tried using red cedar bark/wood/chips/sawdust in composting or soil building and if they have seen any adverse results?

I'm trying it on a small piece of the property currently just to see for myself but am hoping someone else here has tried it and could share their own experience.

Thanks!
 
pioneer
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In the Back to Eden garden film, Paul talks about using large amounts of cedar wood chips and has seen no adverse effects.  His results are pretty amazing, so I personally would trust his conclusion.
 
master pollinator
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I use Cedar (Ashe Juniper) all over the place as mulch, in buried wood beds, etc and have had no problems except when chips are mixed into the soil without adding extra nitrogen.  I let the chips and logs weather a long time ( a year or more) before putting in beds, though, to allow any toxins to dissipate.  Fresh chips make good pathways.

 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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It is the sap you have to be concerned with, this is found only in the cambium layer of the tree and the roots.
So, if the tree is not a fresh cut (has had time for the sap to congeal and or dry up completely) there isn't anything allopathic left.

The leaves (needles) will create a little acidity if they are fresh and water (rain or other) flushes through them.

Redhawk
 
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