23. May, 2017

Composting woods, woodchip and sawdust

A new page on composting wood, woodchip has been added to www.carryoncomposting.com.  While wood may not loom high in the life of the average composter who may only be faced with the decision as to whether to compost woody prunings from shrubs and the occasional branch from a small tree or to avoid the effort by putting them in the "green” wheelie bin. However, in most gardens there will be the need to dispose of the occasional item of treated wood e.g. rotten fence post or wood from a garden building. In addition, there are gardeners and composters who may have more wood waste because of hobbies, such as woodcarving or turning, resulting in the need to deal with small off-cuts of woods that are more exotic, sawdust and shavings.


Composting Wood from Garden Trees

Shredded or chipped untreated wood can be home composted, ideally in a separate compost bin, or  heap as it will be a slower process than composting normal garden and kitchen waste. Broken pallets

made from untreated wood can also be home composted if chipped.

 In general, wood from poisonous plants, such as yew, can be hot composted, as the most of the toxic substances will be broken down with time or during the composting process composting. To be extra safe the wood can be stored in a woodpile for a few months before shredding and finished the compost kept six months or until the following season to mature

Composting Woodchip

The use of composted woodchip and sawdust as a bulking agent in food composters is quite common and wood chip may be used as a source of carbon in conventional compost bins as well as being composted after use as chicken or pet bedding.

Methods for composting small amounts of wood chip are given as well as methods to deal with larger amounts produced by landscape gardeners, woodland maintenance and tree surgery. 

 Suggestions for composting of Black Walnut wood and leaves containing   Juglone are also given along with safety testing the finished compost using tomatoes as a test plant.  

The page also contains information on Treated Woods that should not

be put in the garden waste bin for kerbside collection or green waste container at the Recycling centre.