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I have many, many trees on my property that were downed by a hurricane some 18 years ago. They have not decomposed to date, and clog up the landscape pretty well, and I'd like to get rid of them and make use of their nutrients. For the last year of so I've been trying to cut them up and drag them to a burn pile, but there are just too many and some are halfway decomposed or soggy enough that they won't burn well. So my new strategy is to pile them all up into a few large piles in the hope that they'll decompose faster. something like this hugelkultur idea. A year or two would be fine.




Any suggestions as to what I should to to make them rot in a timely fashion? This is in a pretty out-of-the-way area, without ready access to tractor or truck, so I'll be hand-carting in anything that is contributed to the rotting effort.
 

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build piles along contour so as they rot you will get a created swale...my 2 cents.

long brush piles basically
 

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I have many, many trees on my property that were downed by a hurricane some 18 years ago. They have not decomposed to date, and clog up the landscape pretty well, and I'd like to get rid of them and make use of their nutrients. For the last year of so I've been trying to cut them up and drag them to a burn pile, but there are just too many and some are halfway decomposed or soggy enough that they won't burn well. So my new strategy is to pile them all up into a few large piles in the hope that they'll decompose faster. something like this hugelkultur idea. A year or two would be fine.




Any suggestions as to what I should to to make them rot in a timely fashion? This is in a pretty out-of-the-way area, without ready access to tractor or truck, so I'll be hand-carting in anything that is contributed to the rotting effort.
I suggest you put dirt on them and anything with nitrogen like green grass. If you can water them it helps as well.
 

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Need a carbon to nitrogen ratio.

You have a whole pile of carbon there.

Needs nitrogen and time. Get the right balance of nitrogen at the right timing and it will take less time, or just let it sit and over time it will take care of itself.

Paul
 

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You can make long, deep rows, mix all those leaves in and between and on top, it will compost then and make nice, rich beds for the future.

Lone trees that don't get covered up to hold in moisture take forever to rot, I bet if you told someone that on the street, they would assume it's a gmo tree! =/
 

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I suppose just bury them, to make tree stumps rot quicker we cover them with dirt, in a few years the stump is rotted away, if we don't cover them the stump seems to last and last.
 

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Depends on the tree and conditions. In Florida I dug up a cypress stump in the yard that had been there for at least 30 years.
 

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As am1too says, put dirt on them. If you don't have enough manure, or don't want to buy a high N fertilizer, just put dirt on them. At his suggestion, I did that to my piles of slash from when I did a pine tree thinning harvest for pulpwood. There had seen no obvious reduction in pile size after a year, but within months of putting dirt on them, I began to see decay and a reducing pile.
 

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I put mine in a raised bed I'm creating. Then I added all elements not used from the goats I processed. I also added some left over nitrogen (in a bag) that had been on the place for years. Then I covered it all with the soil I had dug out of the area where I wanted that raised bed and used a power hose to wash it all down among and in between all the tree trunks/limbs. (Each year my raised beds will get all the guts, etc. from meat that was processed for the freezer with some wood shavings and/or branches collected thru the year.)
 
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