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Old 08-24-2011, 11:05 PM   #1
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The road crew has been trimming tree branches that hang over the road in preparation for melting winter snow. I hate when they do that especially in beautiful treelined streets...however, I guess it does allow the sun to do some of the melting.

Anyway, I asked them if they needed a place to dump the shredded and chipped branches and offered my yard for that purpose. They dumped a huge pile of wood chips that were mostly leaves and pine needles. I'm using them to smother some invasives--so far, mugwort and some Japanese knotweed. I've put it on pretty thick and hope it does the trick with the knotweed--I think it will definitely be enough to smother the mugwort.

I'm thrilled to have it, but I'm just a little concerned about bringing tree diseases into our yard. They are all local trees from along the road we live, so I'm assuming any diseases are already around.

As I spread the twigs, leaves, and woodchips, I decided they would act as a "mini- brush pile" to some of the smaller critters in the world.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:24 PM   #2
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The road crew has been trimming tree branches that hang over the road in preparation for melting winter snow. I hate when they do that especially in beautiful treelined streets...however, I guess it does allow the sun to do some of the melting.

Anyway, I asked them if they needed a place to dump the shredded and chipped branches and offered my yard for that purpose. They dumped a huge pile of wood chips that were mostly leaves and pine needles. I'm using them to smother some invasives--so far, mugwort and some Japanese knotweed. I've put it on pretty thick and hope it does the trick with the knotweed--I think it will definitely be enough to smother the mugwort.

I'm thrilled to have it, but I'm just a little concerned about bringing tree diseases into our yard. They are all local trees from along the road we live, so I'm assuming any diseases are already around.

As I spread the twigs, leaves, and woodchips, I decided they would act as a "mini- brush pile" to some of the smaller critters in the world.
Great acquisition! And for the right price!! It sounds like you've already spread them, but the knotweed could very well grow right up through the mulch, regardless of how much you piled on. I've heard stories of it growing up through hardtop.

One effective way to stop it, though, is to cover it with cardboard - large pieces like from a refrigerator or something big, and then cover the cardboard with your mulch. Even knotweed cannot drill a hole through firm cardboard.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:44 AM   #3
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Also, wood chips/shredded bark allowed to sit in a pile undisturbed for at least a couple of years eventually will turn into a very nice compost-like material.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:14 AM   #4
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Lucky dap! I've been having to line the trunk of my Civic with plastic to take advantage of the free mulch around here.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:40 AM   #5
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Lucky dap! I've been having to line the trunk of my Civic with plastic to take advantage of the free mulch around here.
You're smart! I purchased straw from a local farm and transported it in my Mini-Cooper. I didn't put down plastice (which I had) and am now paying the price. The straw grabs at the rug lining and will not let go. I fear this vehicle will have small pieces of straw still attacthed in places when it someday faces the grim reaper of metal recycling. In the meantime, I have a straw lined rear compartment!!!!!
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:55 AM   #6
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Great acquisition! And for the right price!!
Exactly!

I *really* hope that they bring more, but I know others have requested it too.

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It sounds like you've already spread them, but the knotweed could very well grow right up through the mulch, regardless of how much you piled on. I've heard stories of it growing up through hardtop.
I did spread a lot of it already.

The knotweed is an ongoing battle. I've been mowing it down and weakening it. This year the lack of rain took its toll on them too. So yesteday I sickled down the less than robust growth, pulled some out, and covered it all in mulch. I still have another section to do.

Yes, I've read that too--that knotweed can ruin foundations and such, so...


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One effective way to stop it, though, is to cover it with cardboard - large pieces like from a refrigerator or something big, and then cover the cardboard with your mulch. Even knotweed cannot drill a hole through firm cardboard.
...cardboard sounds counter intuitive. Hard to believe cardboard could stop such a thing! Do you speak from personal experience that the cardboard method worked against Japanese knotweed?

I'll be happy if the mulch just slows it down and weakens it more so I can be totally rid of it in a year or two. I had *one* shoot coming up in a front bed. I've just repeateadly pulled it out...last year it was only two or three leaves coming up. I pulled it out and have not seen it at all this year.

Here's hoping I can be rid of it in this area before too long.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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Also, wood chips/shredded bark allowed to sit in a pile undisturbed for at least a couple of years eventually will turn into a very nice compost-like material.
I put it down pretty thickly in some areas...with hopes of a layer of rich soil before too long.

Growing up, we used the wood chips to line a path my dad "terraced out" on our steep hillside so he could access the lower lot for a garden--and use the hillside for a woodland garden and rock garden. We used shredded bark along the landscaping beds. Over the years, we had a THICK, rich layer of soil around the foundation planting. --Come to think of it, the blackgum seedlings grew thickly beneath the parent trees. They pulled up nicely for transplanting. I'm half-tempted to knock on the door of the house I grew up in and ask if I could take some seedlings (I'm guessing they still come up there).

I'm *really* hoping that they will drop off more. I told them I'd take whatever they had--"If the pile gets low, just dump on some more." Let's hope they do. For now, I'm assuming that this is the only load I'll get, so I gotta make the most of it. If I get more...and more...and more, I'll definitely try to leave a whole pile somewhere to decompose as you suggest. I'd love to have access to a pile of rich soil like that!
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:13 AM   #8
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Lucky dap! I've been having to line the trunk of my Civic with plastic to take advantage of the free mulch around here.
I do feel VERY lucky after reading your comment, Rebek.

I always say that I use my car like a truck--but you take the cake on this one.

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You're smart! I purchased straw from a local farm and transported it in my Mini-Cooper. I didn't put down plastice (which I had) and am now paying the price. The straw grabs at the rug lining and will not let go. I fear this vehicle will have small pieces of straw still attacthed in places when it someday faces the grim reaper of metal recycling. In the meantime, I have a straw lined rear compartment!!!!!
Aw.

Why does this make me think of the line: "They took my legs off and they threw them over there! Then they took my chest out and they threw it over there!"
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:45 AM   #9
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BTW, Rebek... interesting new title you got there! ~smile~
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
Exactly!

I *really* hope that they bring more, but I know others have requested it too.



I did spread a lot of it already.

The knotweed is an ongoing battle. I've been mowing it down and weakening it. This year the lack of rain took its toll on them too. So yesteday I sickled down the less than robust growth, pulled some out, and covered it all in mulch. I still have another section to do.

Yes, I've read that too--that knotweed can ruin foundations and such, so...




...cardboard sounds counter intuitive. Hard to believe cardboard could stop such a thing! Do you speak from personal experience that the cardboard method worked against Japanese knotweed?

I'll be happy if the mulch just slows it down and weakens it more so I can be totally rid of it in a year or two. I had *one* shoot coming up in a front bed. I've just repeateadly pulled it out...last year it was only two or three leaves coming up. I pulled it out and have not seen it at all this year.

Here's hoping I can be rid of it in this area before too long.
I've not suffered from knotweed at my present address, but I have dealt with it in the past. Nothing can really deal with thick cardboard weighed down by heavy mulch. In contrast to hardtop, for instance, it is not going to be penetrated as, other than by ripping, nothing bores through it, especially heavy duty cardboard all in a piece. Now, I do not mean small sections of cardboard placed next to one another - that would be a waste of time. I mean one very large piece from a large shipment of something. When I purchased, for instance, my Honda lawn mower, it arrived in a very heavy gauge cardboard box. I used it to defeat the lemon balm - dead forever. If weighted down, I'm confident it would have the same effect upon knotweed.

You probably have a good source for the cardboard, too- at school! When the kids graduated in the Spring, i got the cardboard all of their gowns came in - huge boxes of heavy gauge cardboard. Talk with the janitor at your school and I bet he'd be glad to set aside the cardboard that accumulates in the numerous shipments. The key, however, with a plant like knotweed is that the cardboard be thick, heavy duty and very large.

Sheet composting works! I've never experienced failure when I've used large enough pieces and had gotten the plant I wanted to cover to ground level.

BTW, I think you will probably be using liner in your pond. When you purchase it, be liberal in your estimate of how much you will need. The stuff is great for knocking out areas of unwanted plants, as it is heavy, black, and water-proof. The added benefit there is that the heat it generates in the sun covering an unwanted plant, ground cover or, if you have a large enough piece, shrub, kills it outright. The additional factor that it also stops all photo-synthesis makes it as dead as Marley - dead as a doornail...
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