UKTC Archive

Mulch, Fuel, Firewood; whatever?

Subject: Mulch, Fuel, Firewood; whatever?
From: Andersonarb
Date: Jul 22 2001 09:32:39
In a message dated 21/07/01 10:49:14 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

As the landscaping community comes to realise the
attractiveness of unnatural additional woody (including peat) soil
ameliorants to pathogens this may change.

(Thought I'd better change the header here.)
Thanks for your detailed reply there Andrew; is that accurate about 
pathogens? Again my experience is limited but while I see a few fungi growing 
on the chip heap and Grass Snakes seem to breed witin the undisturbed chips I 
don't really see anything disastrous happening.

In fact to follow your thread about dying Beech, the fields around our yard 
have several dying Beech, we put this down to drought over the early 90's and 
the farmer doing his best to plough all the roots off. Just because it was 
there we tipped a load of woodchips around the base of one of em that had had 
ploughing down one side and was grass down the other. When I say a load it 
was 10 metres or so and we had a chipper demonstrated on a shed branch so the 
long and short of this was that the tree had a 2 foot mulch around it. The 
decline appears to have stopped, the foliage appears more lush and the crown 
more dense. The dead twigs sticking out the top are still there but the tree 
doesn't appear to be declining any more. The chips at the base have been dug 
up by some fishermen (looking for worms I guess) and you can see that white 
mycelium(?) growing through the chips. No sign of anything detrimental. 

Not very scientific I know. Perhaps the grass snakes eat a lot of insect 
pests? What do they live on? Don't theories about latent decay fungi suggest 
that the beneficial mycorrhiza are probably just waiting for a pile of 
woodchips to set them off?

Questions questions and no answers.

PS I get rid of some chips to garden centres who bag them up. I've got this 
vision of grass snake eggs hatching in the bags.
PPS, don't pick the grass snakes up, they stink like skunks when they're 

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