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Thread: Can I compost alders?

  1. #1

    Default Can I compost alders?

    We will be clearing a few of them this weekend and I was wondering if I should throw them in the compost bin rather than wait for them to dry and burn them...they are small, only about the size of my thumb, not the large ones

  2. #2
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Can't see why not .
    Will take a few years, but it'll rot
    Run it thru a chipper would speed it up

  3. #3

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    That's what I was afraid of. I really don't want to add years to my compost. I think I will stick to burning them.

  4. #4
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon3464 View Post
    We will be clearing a few of them this weekend and I was wondering if I should throw them in the compost bin rather than wait for them to dry and burn them...they are small, only about the size of my thumb, not the large ones
    Don't forget, alder is one of the favorites for smoking fish....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Don't forget, alder is one of the favorites for smoking fish....
    Good point
    Save a bucket full cut into 4" lengths to dry out & use for smoking, barbecue & cook outs

  6. #6
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    Two things:

    1 - I wouldn't compost branches without chipping them. While they will decompose they aren't available as carbon to balance your nitrogen, so you still have to add other carbon to use up your nitrogen, and now your compost pile is done and you still need to decompose further. They don't really hurt that much. The bigger problem is that you have now made your pile much harder to turn. I suppose if you use a system with air pipes, you don't turn your pile, but I turn my pile multiple times, both to get it oxygen, get weed seeds on the outside into the hot center where they are inactivated and to work in new material. Sticks are super annoying if there's many of them.

    2. I understand that if you smoke fish with alder, you need to peel the alder first. The bark creates smoke that is too bitter. I have no personal experience with that, but I think I've read that elsewhere on this site.

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