Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Compost and Firewood

I don't trim my large trees very often.  Lately I have found myself having to duck under the limbs of my big Live Oak Tree so I guess its time to prune it.  I see so many people that trim their trees, and throw the trimmings out on the curb to go into the local landfill, tisk tisk...  Take a look at Organic Gold, where I explain how to recycle this material into your own local environment.
I am taking off some rather large limbs.  All the scrub, the little limbs on the main branches, and the down growing branches will get pruned to open up the inside of the tree, and clear the ground space around the tree.  As I prune the branches I will strip off all the leaves, and throw them on the ground.
Then I'll shop up the branches into small pieces.  Tiny stems go onto the lawn with the leaves.  Medium size stems will go into a city compost bag, and large stems will get chopped up into firewood for the smoker.
The medium size stems can go into a long term compost process, if you have one.  It really takes a long time to compost stems, and you will need another compost bin,, separate from the short term compost bin.  The short term compost bin is for grass clippings and leaves which decompose rather quickly, within a year.  While a long term compost bin will have to fester for a couple three years.  The larger stems will get dried out for use in the smoker by letting them sit on the woodpile for several months.
All the leaves and the tiny stems that I had thrown on the lawn will get processed with the lawn mower before they go into the short term compost bin.  I have a mulching mower which will grind up the leaves fairly well.  Smaller pieces compost faster, and this works for the stems as well.  If you can grind up all those medium sized stems they will compost much faster.
I cleaned off a spot in the area I use for composting so I can start a new compost bin for this year's compost.  I moved all the old material off to the side to mix with soil, and the new compost bin contents will not get used until next year.

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