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Hugelkuture using Eucalypt

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  • Hugelkuture using Eucalypt

    Couldn't find much on the web about using Eucalypt in Hugelkuture. With Australia filled with so much of it, I hope someone out there has some good news if this would work. As for me living in an area that the Red Gums dominant the landscape, it would only benefit if they could be used as a more reasonable resource than just firewood

  • #2
    Hi Adrian,
    we've done some very small scale hugelkulture with mixed native scrap wood: melaleuca, callistemon, and eucalypt. It worked brilliantly, both for getting rid of junk and building soil in a really degraded area. But I'm talking garden scale, not large scale. The only impediment I can see to eucalypt is its reputation for alleopathic retardation of surrounding planting - probably have to use a suck it and see approach if no one else has done it, but this is the way the Aust bush works, and everything seems to get on all right. And I'd observe the usual precautions if you were in a termite hotspot.

    I'm curious, though: why do want to use red gum this way?
    Danielle

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    • #3
      It will work fine. How else does a rainforest Ficus get established in dry sclerophyll? Usually in a log, or rotten stump from a Eucalypt.

      Alleopathic properties will only last for a short time, from my limited research 6 months is the roundabout. Your logs should be older than that.
      "However, I continue to try and I continue, indefatigably, to reach out. There's no way I can single-handedly save the world or, perhaps, even make a perceptible difference — but how ashamed I would be to let a day pass without making one more effort." - Isaac Asimov

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      • #4
        Danielle, thanks for your feed back. I had a feeling that it should be ok, and the country was covered in them before the "English Cottage Gardens" started to take place. My reason is simply, use what you have to the best of the products ability. Red Gums love water, and here they thrive. So thinking that way even when after being on the ground as dead wood for over 6 months they should do the same again once buried. The termite problem with red gum is much as if you see older houses built from this wood the termites don't go for it. Around here it's more of the Peppercorn trees that harbore them even though the DSE are poisoning them and removing the Peppercorn.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by S.O.P View Post
          It will work fine. How else does a rainforest Ficus get established in dry sclerophyll? Usually in a log, or rotten stump from a Eucalypt.

          Alleopathic properties will only last for a short time, from my limited research 6 months is the roundabout. Your logs should be older than that.
          That's the news I was looking for. I didn't want to use green wood as i think there could be a chance with the Red gum, if kept wet it could have a chance of shooting off again.
          Thanks S.O.P

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          • #6
            No worries. I often reflect on a piece of forest near my house, regrowth Eucalypts of varying types, including dead Scribblys (remnants from when they dammed the creek and created the lake) and myself being a Ficus fan, explored the entire area to see if there were any. Could not find one in this particular piece of land until I came across a large fallen log, well-rotten with a young Ficus peeking out through a crack. Rotten Euc holds a lot of water, even 20+ metres up, the inner rotten heartwood will be moist to the touch, hence how 'strangling' Ficus gets started.
            "However, I continue to try and I continue, indefatigably, to reach out. There's no way I can single-handedly save the world or, perhaps, even make a perceptible difference — but how ashamed I would be to let a day pass without making one more effort." - Isaac Asimov

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            • #7
              g'day adrian,

              use whatever you can get hold of, nothing wrong with euc' just may take a little longer to break down, we are presently gathering timber material from pushed down trees to use in our garden, hugelkultur is only a process not a following of sorts, means hill culture in germany, we have been doing similar for over a decade now, just had no name for it. anyway we are putting everything bar the radiata pine into the gardens, that will become our char, making lots of fire wood to give away, and maybe some posts as well. don't envisage any issues as we will be planting on top of the timber.

              just throw a good feed of gypsum down and maybe a tad of dolomite?

              len

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              • #8
                thanks guys, i was just about to ask the same.
                A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek Proverb

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                • #9
                  g'day nickolas,

                  like your einstein quotes, quite relevant, there are many who might pay heed to them, keep it simple hey, and sue common sense or sense in all actions.

                  len

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gardenlen View Post
                    g'day adrian,

                    use whatever you can get hold of, nothing wrong with euc' just may take a little longer to break down, we are presently gathering timber material from pushed down trees to use in our garden, hugelkultur is only a process not a following of sorts, means hill culture in germany, we have been doing similar for over a decade now, just had no name for it. anyway we are putting everything bar the radiata pine into the gardens, that will become our char, making lots of fire wood to give away, and maybe some posts as well. don't envisage any issues as we will be planting on top of the timber.

                    just throw a good feed of gypsum down and maybe a tad of dolomite?

                    len
                    Thanks for your input len,
                    My theory would be using the Hugel beds as a swale medium, as the material breaks down the goodies from inside can seep down helping the ground down hill to regenerate into a positive and then flow on affect towards then next swale.

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                    • #11
                      yes adrian,

                      build your gardens along the contours and you achieve both swale and garden. my new gardens as always will be along the contours, currently once green material is laying in sheeves acting like a swale.

                      yep whatever you improve in one spot i also reckon spreads around, even when we transfer stuff and help it.

                      len

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                      • #12
                        Excellent, I was just going to ask this about eucalypts, thanks

                        I am just making one raised bed at the moment, and while I have a lot of sticks, I don't have a lot of logs to use up, but I do have a good solid eucalyptus log. So I will stick it in and see what happens I guess
                        My website: http://sustainablesuburbia.net

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gardenlen View Post
                          g'day nickolas,

                          like your einstein quotes, quite relevant, there are many who might pay heed to them, keep it simple hey, and sue common sense or sense in all actions.

                          len
                          thanks, i think i would have liked einstein:-) i have a lot more of his quotes and many other good quotes that me and my father have gathered over the years if you would like to see them let me know.
                          A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek Proverb

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deee View Post
                            And I'd observe the usual precautions if you were in a termite hotspot.
                            I'm interested in hugelkulture for my area, and it's a big termite hotspot. Can I ask, what are the usual precautions? Termites have eaten some of the wooden parts of the house - mostly the window frame in the southern wall. There are a few peppercorn trees nearby, and we saw them in some rotting wood we pulled up the other day. Am I just going to encourage them further with hugelkulture?

                            Thankfully they don't seem interested in mudbricks.

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                            • #15
                              we in termite country as well very many are, just barrier your home have good treatment laid importantly there must be at least a 2 meter bare zone around the home to take away hiding spots for teh termites no plants of walkaway within a meter and no plants withing 2 meters, best walkways looses stones kept as dry as, and of course when you can build in steel using material to finish that termites can't eat, use very little wood. that way then you may be able to do without any chemical barriers, that's how we do it.

                              len see our web page for the eco' home we designed never seen another built yet so no chance of an overrun.

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