Silky oak okay as mulch?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by seussrules, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. seussrules

    seussrules Junior Member

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    Hi all

    we've just moved into a suburban Brisbane home and there is huge Silky Oak in the front yard, which the tree guy says needs to come down (am sad about this, but it really is the wrong place for a forest tree). He is going to mulch it up for us and reckons we'll get about 3 cubic metres out of it. Can anyone tell me if this mulch would be suitable on vegetable areas? Or should I stick to using it for pathways?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    IMHO you should look to use it on the paths as nitrogen draw down can be an issue with wood chip in vegie beds. It can be done if accompanied with dynamic lifter or some such nitrogen but who really wants to put uncomposted manures on the beds?
     
  3. derekh

    derekh Junior Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    Whoa, don't mulch it!

    Get someone, like me maybe, to come and slab it into 50mm slabs. You may get something more longer lasting than mulch from it. I cannot drop it for you but I can slab it. Paint the log ends with waste paint immediately after he docks it into the longest possible straight lengths. It will take about one year to dry out enough before it can be worked.

    To mulch such a precious tree is IMHO not a very permie thing to do.

    PM me, or reply here if you are interested.

    cheers
    Derek
     
  4. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    yeh think about using the timber from it most local wood turning clubs might be able to get rid of the logs and use it for furniture making i think they need them in 10' lengths but like derek says make stepping slabs out of them, mulch up all the little stuff. or even get it milled for yourself ring a local mill see what they charge make some rustic furniture maybe or cut finely make good dinning table get a local turning club or whomever to turn up the bigger limbs for legs.

    if applied around the surface and say 4" to 6"s away from the stems of plants there won't be any nitrogen draw down that would only occur if it was dug in and not composted and used on top about 6"s deep it will break down into a dark humus. not best for vege gardens around fruit trees and other gardens ideal.

    not a good garden tree are they.

    len
     
  5. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    I suspect that the silky oak (Cassurina spp.?) needles inhibit seed germination.

    It is only a personal observation, something I noticed when running a nursery. Pots with lots of silky oak needles/leaves on them did not have weeds germinating in them. As the needles broke down this effect seemed to disappear.

    So apart from that i reckon almost anything is good as a mulch.

    I agree Woody material does lock up nitrogen if you dig it in.
    If left to decompose on top you should be OK.
     
  6. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    I took it to be grevillia robusta MA
     
  7. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    yeh missed that bit also i hope it is g/r we are dealing with as it was said it was a very large tree planted in the exact wrong place. only silky/o i know of least ways.

    len
     
  8. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    I think the Casuarina is commonly known as "She-oak". Silky Oak is a Grevillea species common name.

    :? I think anyway... now its got me thinking :?:
     
  9. seussrules

    seussrules Junior Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    Thanks all. It is a Silky Oak. Will take on board suggestions about best use of the timber - we don't have the space on our small block to store the timber, but will talk to the tree guy and follow up within our local area to see who can make best use of the timber.
     
  10. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    Seuss,

    Noticed your address being Melbourne. This is a long way south of the silky oaks natural range. It would be awesome slow grown timber. You may be able to get a local wood turning club to remove it for you. I am with the other guys, mulch the scraps and keep as much log as you can. They make great seats etc.

    cheers,

    OK OK... I noticed the Melbourne and not the Brisbane bit!!...

    ho-hum
     
  11. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    G'day seussrules :)

    If it is Silky Oak (G. robusta), then you do indeed have a very valuable timber resource in your front yard, and one that many will pay a pretty penny for, but only if it is harvested correctly.

    A quick search of the Yellow Pages under "Woodwork/Brisbane" revealed this mob:

    https://www.classicwoodworx.com.au/

    By all means, mulch/compost (whichever best suits your needs) the head (leafy bits), but seriously consider harvesting the barrel (trunk) and larger branches for later use as high status/value timber product/s.

    Good luck, and please let us know what you decide to do ( I just love to hear of stories where high value timbers have been 'saved' from the chipper).

    Cheerio, Mark.
     
  12. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    Sorry my mistake, the problem with common names is that they change, even from state to state .Then,it also helps to have Irish genes too. :drinkers: :rolleyes:

    A friend of mine was expert in the use of the bow-lathe. He had lots of timber stored. he put some sort of sealant on the ends of the logs --they lasted for many years.

    Do you have "Mens' Sheds" in your area?
    If so, bound to find a wood worker there ( Perhaps also someone to show you how to use the wood?)
    Contact your local council for addresses. :bear:
     
  13. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Silky oak okay as mulch?

    yes big project now i suppose sonce you where bound to have it cut down and chipped, but the timber is very much sought after furniture timber, talk to a mill as i think i said earlier they will have best advice, the timber will have a long shelf life look at its life as furniture, very capable of reaching 100 years and beyond. the mill may not help with the larger limbs but keep those in storage for later and find a turner who will turn them up fo you, probably need to be around 1.5 meters long to be sure of their use value? there again ask a turning club like the one in that link provided earlier.

    you should still end up with a whack of chip.

    yup keep us informed and your knowledge base will rise sharply after this project.

    len
     

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