Has anyone got any experience with composting trees - hugelkulture?

I grew a Blackboy peach tree from a stone: it produces beautiful peaches but the tree is a mutant. EVERY fork in a branch turns into a split that propagates back down the branch and in a wind the new branches break and fall off in pairs. I am cutting down the tree and want to compost it.

If I pile the branches over the stump will it re-sprout through the pile or rot down? If I make the pile elsewhere on my sloping section should I align the wood across or along the slope? Judging from the amount of wood in the tree this pile could get quite high by the time grass clippings and soil cover it - if I build it on a slope would a tyre retaining wall perhaps four or five tyres high be safe? 

So many questions! Like so much else it will probably be easy in retrospect but the whole thing is a bit daunting now; any practical advice will be gratefully received.

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Replies to This Discussion

hello Margaret, this is a rather late response but if your black boy peach hasn't been cut down yet, this link has a series of photos of the construction of a bed. Bever tried building one myself so don't have any answers to your specific questions.

Hi Margaret. Ive opted for buried mini-hugels under each fruit tree because my soil is heavy, low fertility clay. I also had some soak hole trenches I took scoria out from, which I backfilled with logs and mulch. They are now flush berry beds. If you set your hugels along the contour they will act as berms and conserve rain runoff so it depends on whether you need to save or shed water. If you use tires on the down slope you will lose that side for production. Maybe a half buried hugel with no tyres would be a good compromise i.e. dig out a swale on contour, bury the logs along the trench and replace the spoil over the logs, then plant into the top of the mound.



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