Oak wood chippings

A tree surgeon came earlier this week and cut the deadwood out of the oak tree out back.

They were happy to fill a big bag I have with lots of the oak chippings.

I’ve read up about using them as a mulch. So I feel pretty confident about that, but I’m not as sure about using them in my compost heap.

Has anyone done this?

I don’t have any lawn so, for all I do have ‘green’ waste in the compost bay, I don’t have any grass clippings to layer up with the wood chippings.

Any suggestions on ratios or on if I should leave the chippings for a few months before adding them to the heap (because of possible phytotoxins)?

I know they’ll take a while to break down, but I’m ok with that and often seive my compost and chuck the large bits back in the heap anyway.

Thanks
Amy

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Hi Amy,

That’s a wonderful amount of great material you have! It’s probably worth asking, was there any thing wrong with the wood or did it die of natural causes? Just in case there’s anything nasty in it you don’t want to spread around.

Compost is two thirds brown material to one third green :slight_smile:

Ooh, oak chippings! They make a really good substrate for growing mushrooms apparently, Ann Miller’s Speciality Mushrooms in Scotland should have some info https://www.annforfungi.co.uk/

Should be fine in a compost heap, although will take a while to break down. I’ve heard pile keep a pile of wood chip separate, turning it a few times to compost it by itself before adding to a compost pile.

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Thanks for replying Jack

The tree is probably about 150 years old. So the deadwood was just that, branches that have died back (including some very large ones which could have caused serious injury if they fell).
I did check with the tree surgeon before asking for the chippings as, like you, I was mindful that there may have been some disease, but they confirmed that there wasn’t.

I’m going to see if I can allocate a space just for the chippings (I already have 2 composting bays, a leaf mould bay and a Greencone in the composting area. So it might be a squeeze) and then build up to the ratio you gave.

Just got to move it all from the front of the house to the back now!

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Thanks

I like the idea of growing edible mushrooms, but not something I’ve managed to do yet.
Although I’d be interested to see what naturally comes up in the pile.

I think, like you say, it would be a good idea to keep it in its own pile for a bit. Although I might put a bit in the compost to start off with and build up from there.