Its Autumn here in Melbourne, Australia. I have a row of conifer pine
trees - medium size - dark green leaves. They are about 6 metres tall and
are due for a good prune back.
I believe they are called Castlewellan Gold.
They don't have seeds, drop many leaves but they do grow.
Here's a link to a photo.
I thought of lopping off the top of the trees- mulching them including the
leaves finely - and then using them as mulch for my rose garden. I'm
allergic to the pine leaves so I'm getting tree pruner to do the job.
One old grizzled tree pruner however warned me that using fresh conifer pine
mulch was a very bad idea and will kill the roses or any other plant.
Is using conifer mulch for the rose garden a bad idea? I didn't realize it
Good questions and I am glad you asked them questions. I have distanced my
self from other posters here. They might tell you anything.
Dr. Shigo always insisted not to use fresh chips because of disease.
However composted for a years was greatly helpful if applied correctly. Do
not use fresh chips. The protoplasm from the living parenchyma cells gets
smeared all over the place and attract undesirables that can and do do nasty
things above as well as below ground. Compost them in a pile for a years
and then here are mulching suggestions based on tree biology.
It is a bad idea. One I used once until my professor in tree biology that
was a mycologist stooped me.
Not if you compost it for a year or more. The longer the better.
You could add reasonable amounts of ammonium nitrate (AN) (fast release
nitrogen fertilizer) to the chip pile and that will stimulate the decay
fungi. The things is that once the contents (protoplasm) of the parenchyma
cells is no more, the problem is over. The faster the wood chips decay
probably the faster this happens. AN does have the potential to pollute
ground water so please go lightly. Also adding a little water and turning
the pile form time to time will help. The micro we are concerned with are
those that attack defenseless cells. Usually when you start to get that
good earth smell and the color darkens you are alright. I decide by smell.
My garden is mainly clay soil. A bit of pine mulch would probably do it
The trees look pretty healthy to me. Green, strong, no sign of yellowing,
any more healthier and I think that'd get up and walk. I don't think they
suffer from any disease.
The latest tree pruner suggested placing the mulch in a seperate part of the
garden which is hidden. We'll do that and keep it there for awhile til its
safer to use.
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