Return to the Soil Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Downed trees and sunflower seed hulls for compost?

Posted by roses4kris (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 13, 08 at 14:16

We'll be having some uprooted trees removed soon and I wonder if I can have them shredded/chipped to use for mulch or to put in the compost bins. There are several trees so there'll be quite a bit of material available.
Also, I get lots of sunflower seed hulls on my deck below our birdfeeder. Should I compost them?
Many thanks to all for sharing your expertise.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Downed trees and sunflower seed hulls for compost?

Wood chips take quite a while to compost, and they require some nitrogen to do it. If you try to plant in the combination before the wood chips are fully broken down, the plants aren't likely to do well, as the wood chips tie up the nitrogen that the plants need.

What I usually do is use wood chips as mulch under trees or perennial ornamentals. The only place where the chips will be drawing nitrogen from the soil is at the surface of the soil where they meet, as long as you don't mix the chips into the soil. If you think that there could be a problem, get a bag of alfalfa meal (feed store is cheapest) and scatter some of it on the surface of the soil, then lay down your chips. I would put them down rather thickly, at least 4", which should discourage weeds from growing (lack of sunlight).

There's nothing wrong with putting your sunflower seeds in the compost bin. Virtually anything that grew in the soil can be used as compost.


RE: Downed trees and sunflower seed hulls for compost?

I agree with Sue on the use of mulch and sunflower hulls. Sunflower hulls are very refractory and will take some time to decompose so use them thoughout the compost pile as a bulking agent.

But is there a better use for the wood? Depending on the wood there may be wood workers or wood turners who might put the wood to better use. I think that turning trees into wood chips is the last resort when all other possible uses have failed.

RE: Downed trees and sunflower seed hulls for compost?

There was a discussion about sunflower seeds on this forum a little while ago.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunflower Seed Discussion

RE: Downed trees and sunflower seed hulls for compost?

I'd make chips from the small branches, for sure, but the larger parts of the trees aren't worth that much effort for mulch. (And, as cowgirl2 mentioned, these can be much more valuable for other things!) Try advertising it as firewood if nothing else (I hunt for that on, especially if it's hardwood.

Sounds like you've got some work ahead of you! Good luck!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Soil Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here