[NAFEX] wood chips

Richard MURPHY murphman108 at msn.com
Wed Nov 14 17:25:26 EST 2007


I agree with Mr. Pittman completely.
Acid Schmacid. 
If you don't have a pH probe, buy a wide pH range paper test strips.
They are good to have around for such folklore, like pine needle acid, etc.

Murph

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lucky Pittman<mailto:lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu> 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers<mailto:nafex at lists.ibiblio.org> 
  Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 1:26 PM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] wood chips


  Jerry, 
  For surface-applied mulch, I have no problem whatsoever applying fresh wood chips.  
  Acid, schmacid.  They're going on top of the ground to help hold soil moisture and suppress weed growth - I'm willing to bet that if you steeped the fresh chips in water and stuck in a pH probe, it would be in the neutral range.
  I don't even buy into the old saw about fresh wood chips 'robbing' nitrogen from the soil.  Yes, nitrogen availability is the rate-limiting factor in decomposition of woody materials, but no one has yet convinced me that surface applied mulch steals any significant nitrogen from deep down in the soil, other than right at the mulch/soil interface. 

  Lucky 


  At 12:12 PM 11/14/2007, you wrote:

    I recently had the good fortune of having a truck load of fresh wood chips dumped on my property (at my request!)  They are from Poplar Trees (tulip tree) from my neighbor's place who had several very large trees cut down.  The guy doing the cutting said they are no good for mulching until they compost several months because they are too acid.  I was planning on using them on a patch that needs new chips.  But does anyone know:
    1.  Is it true they are too acid for mulch when fresh?
    2.  Does age take that problem away?
    3.  Could I use them for my blueberries, as they seem to constantly need more acid soil?
     
    Jerry in southern Indiana




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