[permaculture] Red Cedar and Edible Home Gardens - is it safe? RE: Quick Permaculture Question

Rick Valley bamboogrove at cmug.com
Wed Mar 5 11:35:28 EST 2003

> I've heard some suggestions or fear that it is poisonous to humans to eat
> from plants close to red cedar although I have not seen documented
> poisonings from cedar.
> As to pathways, Red cedar sawdust would last several years 2-3 inhibiting
> plant growth.  Cedar chips will last much longer than sawdust.

I've used both fresh whole tree chips and planer shavings from lumber of
both Western Red and Port Orford cedar (Thuja and Chamaecyparis if you're
Latin) both as mulch and path topping. No problems.
The only adverse reaction I've ever seen was using planer shavings from
Asian rainforest lumber. Since the grass died with both Teak and Lauan, I
think there must have been some ghastly fungicide (or?) on the wood.
The biggest problem to using sawdust or chips on paths is that you'll need
to replace it almost yearly once the fungal population has gotten going.
Just plan for the old path sawdust to become your primary bulk compost
ingredient. It'd be better than fresh for a composting toilet system, for

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