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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Pine slash: uses???

Pine slash: uses???

Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 105
Freak weather event this past summer left our neighborhood pines in pieces. Now thinking about possible uses of all the heaps of pine boughs....mulch, biochar....any other ideas or considerations to do with this material?
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 609
Anything bigger than a few inches in diameter I'd use for camp wood and I like the mulch and biochar options, but some folks claim pine is good in hugelkultur (others say the opposite). In this attached thread someone specifically mentions using a pine branch hugelkulture for gooseberries. (which is sort of interesting...maybe the blight is linked between these two because they grow together as companions?)
http://www.permies.co...­
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 984
Use it for hugelkultur. Mix in a lot of leaves. It will be slow but should work. I have used pine in mine with good success. If you have a leaf blower, you can blow an amazing amount of leaves into a slash pile. I blew at least 15 bushels into one of my slash piles/hugelkultur patches and it is working well.

David Spahr
Tyler O.
TylerOmand
Greenbush, ME
Post #: 31
I have used it mixed with poplar and spruce in hugelkulture swales with earth from under the pines and poplars for highbush blueberries, strawberries, siberian pea shrubs, elderberries, service berries, sea buckthorn, honey locust, black locust, apples, pears, honey berries, etc, etc and they are rockin! I used white pine, spruce and poplar trees up to 12" in diameter and all the branches and piled them on contour and used a 8500 lb mini excavator which I rented for 8 hours for $400 and I dug a 15' x 20' x 5' deep duck pond, above over 500' of 3-4' tall and 3'-8' wide hugelmounds that direct the over flow from the duck pond in a zig zag pattern into a 20' x 20' x 8' deep bottom catchment pond (dug by a large excavator). I dug the duck pond then I dropped trees and made one hugel mound at a time as I worked downhill with the excavator and I pulled the uphill soil onto the mound with the excavator. The week previous to that earthwork, my friend Buzz, an experienced excavator operator whom I hired to build a terrace for a new greenhouse, hugelmounds and dig the bottom pond used his excavator with a 3 yard bucket on it to create 500'+ of hugelmounds with entire pine (up to 16" dia.), poplar(up to 16" dia.), hemlock, red spruce, red maple, beech, birch, and young red oak and cherry trees. The trees I did not cut but wanted down he just knocked over with his bucket, piled them up and them smashed them down with his bucket then buried them with top soil that I had him separate. One of the mounds he created is over 150' long, 15-20' wide at the base and 8-10' tall. We did the finishing work with shovels and rakes. We dug our planting holes into the mounds. Then we mixed 3 gallons water with 1 gallon of biodynamic aerated compost tea and poured it onto 1 cup of rock phosphate, 1 cup kelp meal, 1 cup azomite, 1 cup alfalfa meal, 1 cup gypsum, and 1 tbsp of a mixed mycorhizal product in a 5 gallon bucket, stirred it, then dumped the bucket into the planting hole, then put the bare root and potted plants into the hole to soak as the mixture soaked into the planting hole . We mulched around the blueberries with coffee grounds (because I had a 100 gallons or so from a local coffee shop which I composted for over a year that I wanted to use) mixed with some peat moss , we mulched the elderberries with peat and our compost, and mulched everything else with just our compost. Then we spread fresh cow manure mixed 50/50 with the the bottom remains of a 30 year old wood chip pile over the entire area (not too close to the plants), which we purchased 14 yards for $10 a yard delivered. Then seeded the mounds with inoculated peas/vetch/oats, seeded the walkways between the mounds with inoculated dwarf white clover. We mixed a little bit of kelp meal, alfalfa meal, and azomite with the peas/vetch/oats and with the dwarf white clover seed before we spread it as filler. Then we lightly mulched the entire area with rye/clover hay. Late this fall I put a few shovels of granite dust around each perennial (from Dexter at Freshwater Stone in Orland, all I had to do is send a truck and he filled it for free, cost me $100 for the truck for seven yards - all a 10 yard dump truck can hold because of the weight of the dust). Then mulched over the dust with hardwood chips, I got 10 yards for $30 delivered because they were crushed by the bulldozer and unable to sold as wood chips.
Sepp Holzer uses pine and spruce as part of the material in his "raised beds", mounds and terraces on his incredible mountain farm in Austria to grow all kinds of plants. I believe Ben Falk is also using coniferous material in his earthworks on his Whole Systems Research Farm in Vermont.
Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 106
Thanks for the replies. Tyler, you've been a busy boy! I will use some of the pine limbs for a hugel or two. I used pine wood as the base for a hugel I did a couple years back that I've planted highbush blues in, and I'd like to make another one focusing on heathers(calluna vularis). I'm thinking pine would work well in beds for plants that have an acidic preference.
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 614
Tyler, do you give tours!? Maybe in the spring?
Tyler O.
TylerOmand
Greenbush, ME
Post #: 33
Jesse that's awesome you want to start a heather patch, my wife Heather and I love heather and would like to use it in her home brewed kombucha and in our other brews and tinctures. I ordered the two cultivars offered from fedco, 'bradford' and 'firefly' and plan on starting a couple patches with some blueberries under a couple young red oaks this spring, I am also interested in any heather or heath that anyone has growing and is willing to give or trade a clump of.
Greg I will give a tour anytime I am home, I am usually home Tuesday through Saturday, just get in touch with me. It is still very much a work/experiment in progress. The earthworks and paths were designed for many reasons: to make the moving of materials with wheel barrows and carts easier up and down the hillside, collect, slow, spread and sink water, to align plantings with the sun exposure/shadowing, create varied micro climates, and increase surface area etc, but also to create ski, snowboard, sled and tubing runs when there is snow on the ground and we currently have developed 7 snowshoe and shovel packed trails, including banked turns, s-turns, spines, and one trail that includes a kicker off the greenhouse terrace and over the s-turn trail and lands down the face of a lower terraced walkway.The trails are not very long, 100-300 ft or so, but they are fun and great exercise. Earthworks should be fun all year long.
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 618
Sounds like a nice set of stacked functions Tyler! My son is going to UMO. Maybe I can find a time that'll work for us both when I'm bringing him back or picking him up sometime. You're further ahead than I am and I'd love to chat about what you're up to. Thanks!
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