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I bought a useable small chipper at the Habitat ReStore :) I want to chip brush and clippings from shrubs to compost. I know to leave walnut out. Anything other trees, shrubs or plants else that should not be put in? The pile may end up relatively wide and not that dense, so the amount of heat may not be high. Leaves and veg kitchen waste going in there, too.
 

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Anything in the walnut family, such as hickory nut. I don't put in junipers or cedars as they take forever to break down. I don't put in any invasive weeds or things that take over, such as grape hyacinth, creeping charlie, quack grass.
 

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well...it depends.

I might agree with you about the walnut family and even weed seeds if you are basically using your chippings as uncomposted mulch. But if you are really composting the stuff, in a big hot pile that is composed of your chippings as well as some high N and high microbe material like human or animal manures; animal parts such as road kills, butcher scraps, or feathers; green grass/hay; or food scraps; and you are willing to let it sit for a year, then almost any plant material is just fine. The plant product that is more of a hindrance than a helper is veggie oils.

If you are worried about weed seeds, turn the pile 2 or 3 times over the course of the year. Otherwise, you can just let it sit until it is about a third to half it's original size and it will be ready.

Once the pile is at a max size, I find the hard part is leaving it alone. I keep wanting to throw on just a bit more of whatever, but it needs to sit for that year AFTER the last material is added. You can get a pile completely thru a composting process in a few months of even weeks, but that requires much more human work and attention. If you can let it sit for the year, your micro-herd employees will do almost all the work for you and not complain one bit when you give them a bunch of s...ummm...err...poo.
 
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