is it ok to use juniper chips as a ground cover?

gwald(9B)June 27, 2013

hi - is it ok to use juniper chips as a ground cover? I took out some out-of-hand juniper bush/trees. I want to have them chipped and then use it to spread on the dirt around shrubs, etc. These were healthy trees, just too gnarly!

Any down-side to this?


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Nope - have at it.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:17PM
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It will be great lasting mulch. If you're putting it around exiting plants first pile it up like a compost pile and turn it weekly for 3-4 weeks to allow it to partially decompose aerobically. The potential problem is "sour mulch", which is the emission of volatile organic acids (e.g., formic acid) that occurs in the early stages of wood decomposition. It can and does kill plants. See link below for more on sour mulch.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sour Mulch - Solvita

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:15PM
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If your wood chip mulch is kept to a reasonable depth, 3 to 4 inches at most, it will not generate enough heat for that pyrolisis to occur. I have seen what the article is about on rare occassions when wood chips are stored in such a way that they can generate quite a bit of heat and are not allowed to cool down before application.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:20AM
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thank you for all of the information!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 11:16AM
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