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Wood waste as mulch

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  • Wood waste as mulch

    I have just started a furniture project with rough cut walnut. As usual, I have a lot of shavings from the planer and jointer (or whatever the cuttings are called). It looks a lot like the premium garden mulch HD wants me to pay for. Any reason not to use it on the flower beds? Are some kinds of chips ok and not others (from different types of wood)?

  • #2
    Obviously, you don't want sawdust from plywood, MDF or CCA pressure treated

    You don't want to put it on the graden right away---it needs aging---I'd mix it with some grass clippings, leaves, etc.---should make good composte. Of course, cedar, redwood and other shavings can be used for little furry creatures, like hamsters
    Dave

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    • #3
      I don't recommend using Walnut shavings as mulch in places where you want plants to grow.

      The roots of the walnut tree release a toxic material which may kill other plants growing above them. I've heard that the sawdust and shavings can also prevent plants and weeds from growing, when used as a mulch.

      Also, Walnut sawdust can cause urinary tract infections leading to death in animals and is not suited as animal bedding.

      I would recommned using the walnut shavings in places where you don't want anything to grow. It is possibly a cheap, natural way to control weeds...

      Jeff

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      • #4
        Jeff---very interesting---always learning--might be slightly different for grafted root stock trees---I have a walnut tree---weeds never stop growing under it

        Do you think the same restricted weed growth would occur with euclyptus? I know nothing grows under them.
        Dave

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        • #5
          Not sure about the Euclyptus. I've read several articles about walnut, must be some differences between species. Looks like something else to research...
          Jeff

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          • #6
            Update on my own question... Based on earlier replies, I started to worry, and did some more research.

            A scientist provided an answer that is consistent with everyone's experience - He said Walnut has something in it that prevents germination - seeds won't sprout. But it is not harmful to people or established plants (or even to bulbs). Therefore it shouldn't be used as mulch where seeds will be sown for the next several years, but it is great for flowerbeds (the example was rose gardens) where anything that sprouts from seeds is a weed, and anything valuable is already a plant.

            So I am keeping my walnut shavings to use as a top dressing on the plantings around my house. Bet it is prettier than the pine bark mulch that the neighbors buy from HD!

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