Naughty mulch?

From our city's free mulch web page:
"For example, after leaves are collected at curbside, they are treated and offered to the public as compost. Holiday trees are sent through a wood chipper and converted into mulch; a material perfect for flowerbeds or other landscaping projects (note: mulch is not suitable for vegetable gardens)."
Why is it not suitable for vegetable gardens?
http://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.aspx?id 89936436
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"JoeSpareBedroom" wrote:

"after leaves are collected at curbside, they are _treated_ and offered to the public as compost. Holiday trees are sent through a wood chipper and converted into mulch; a material perfect for flowerbeds or other landscaping projects (note: mulch is not suitable for vegetable gardens). _Scrap wood_ and brush is collected and ground or chipped and returned to residents as wood chips."
Might have to do with what they mean by "treated", and what kind of "Scrap wood". You may want to call and ask.
Many years ago the power company on Long Island, NY (when it was still LILCO) had a program where they'd give homeowners free mulch (whatever chipped tree limbs/brush from clearing power lines). They'd send you a form to sign and return whereby you agree to accept a full 10 cu yd truck load dumped in your driveway at their convenience, no prior notice when. Imagine the shock of returning home from grocery shopping and finding a mountain of chips (actually shredded wood) in your driveway, and I mean a *mountain*, filled the entire 40' drive and higher than the top of the garage opening. So it was time to move those shreds, not possible to use a shovel on those coarse shreds, had to use a pitchfork to fill wheelbarrowful after wheelbarrowful, took me an entire weekend and I had a heck of a time trying to find room to put it all, I didn't have a very big property then, so I kept filling my beds higher and higher. Anyway, that's when I learned the hard way that free isn't always a great gift, that load of shreds was filled with a few types of destructive insects including carpenter ants and tent catapiller nests. I'll never again take free mulch, not even if they pay me to take it.
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They are saying that it is the tree mulch that isn't suitable. Chipped wood from trees will cause nitrogen drawdown in a veg bed. The compost should be fine if used in a veg bed.
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FarmI wrote:

OK, not knowing anything about this, but needing some mulch, I'm interested.
http://www.au.gardenweb.com/forums/load/oznative/msg1102494722956.html
"Nitrogen draw down as a result of spreading green mulch only occurs if you mix it through the soil and then plant into it. Spreading it over the soil surface is unlikely to cause any problems."
I was just thinking of getting some "free mulch" from the chipper piles around the city, to trim out the non planted areas of the garden. I'm thinking this will be OK. On another note, I have a lot of pinestraw (pine needles), any issues with that (the bottom of the piles might be moldy)?
The alternative would be some bags of commercial mulch which appears to be either pine bark or shredded trees.
Another alternative is spreading out some of the red georgia clay that I dug out (you could probably make pots out of this stuff). I suppose if I spread out some weed block underneath, or even if I didn't, nothing would grow there!
Jeff

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On 5/4/2009 5:10 AM, JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Possibly for the same reason that compost from our local sewage plant is also not approved for use with edibles. The compost might contain dissolved heavy metals from industrial plants or medications from people disposing of prescriptions down the toilet. While the reclaimed water from the sewage plant is used to irrigate green belts and golf courses, I'm not sure it's approved for school athletic fields.
Your compost is from a variety of sources that have not been checked and segregated. It might contain animal waste, a potential source of disease. Our sewage plant disinfects both its compost and reclaimed water to eliminate this problem.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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It should be fine after it is composted but till then, as FarmI said it sponges up the nitrogen (to be released again later).
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- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
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wrote:

OK to use around shrubs like arborvitae or yews, though?
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Yeah, perfect. Just stop mulching the shrubs, when you can no longer see the Sun.
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- Billy
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On Mon, 4 May 2009 08:10:36 -0400, "JoeSpareBedroom"

You never know what you will get from the government, so I prefer to make my own compost and mulch. Beware of "free" handouts.
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wrote:

To make as much mulch as I needed, I'd have to put entire trees through a chipper.
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"Holiday trees" might have been treated with those bleach/borax concoctions or flame retardants that might be bad for your garden.
Free township wood chips also harbor fungi , molds, and material from diseased trees that you really don't want around your veggies, like the infamous artillery fungus.
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