Making Mulch from Tallow, Pine or Pecan Trees?

Discussion in 'Gardening Other' started by cherylad, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    My brother cut down several Tallow trees earlier this year and had the stumps ground up. He kept a big pile of it thinking I could use it as mulch. However... The plant sap and leaves are reputed to be toxic, and decaying leaves from the plant are toxic to other species of plants.
    So... I'm thinking that using it as mulch is NOT a good idea. Or... does it lose it's toxicity after sitting for a long period of time?
    There was also some stumps from Pecan and Pine trees. What about those? Would they make good mulch?
     
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  3. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Fresh hardwood mulch draws nitrogen that the plants need out of the soil while it is decomposing.
    But if you let it age for 6 months or more and add nitrogen to it while it is aging then it will add nitrogen to the soil instead of taking it out.

    You might call the Harris Country Extension Office about the Tallow tree.... http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/
     
  4. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Is there an organic way to add the nitrogen?
     
  5. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Finished compost, manure, blood meal and weed-free top soil will all add nitrogen.
    Next time the circus is in town, you can get some elephant poop. They have people lined up here in Dallas wanting to take it off their hands. :rolleyes: I don't know about the odor tho, it might just be farmers or people who have a lot of land and few neighbors who want it.
     



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  6. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    I'll pass on the Elephant Poop even though I'm sure it's wonderful at it's job. :D
    Neighbors have cattle. Guess I could start gathering up patties.
    I emailed the Extension Service... I'll post their reply when I get it.
    Thanks for the info Toni!
     
  7. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Here's what the Extension Service says:

    "Thank you for contacting the Master Gardener line with your question. I found an article which I will send the attachment for with some information for you. There are some beneficial uses for products from the trees as well as some toxicities. I would have some reservations about using it as mulch, especially if you got some seeds with it. Here is the link for the article:

    http://www.hear.org/pier/pdf/nrcs_plant ... bifera.pdf

    The pecan and pine woods should be fine for mulch
    . "

    So... guess I'll just stay away from the Tallow altogether. Too bad... there sure is a bunch of it!
     

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