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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Huge pile of sawdust from a ground stump.

Last November we had to have the remaining half of a huge, old live oak removed. :cry: 5 or 6 years ago the back half of the tree split and fell. Several of the huge branches on the remaining front half of the tree were splitting and were a danger to G's shop, the patio and the house.

Having the stump ground was part of the removal service.

I want to use that as a base for a berm. I want to build it up even more and expand it. My goal is to plant a small, fast growing shade tree and landscape around it with blooming shrubs, bulbs, perennial and annuals.

The patient person that I am :> wants to do it now! Yeah, yeah I know. That sawdust really has to compost down before I attempt to plant anything.

I had several conversations with Gerald Roberts. He is my Extension Office Horticulturalist and an amazing person. He offered to come to the house and evaluate the project.

The deal is this - I will not be able to plant until fall. :( In order to speed things up I will add a 12" layer of grass clipping and till it into the sawdust. A 12" layer of city compost, tilled in, a 12" layer of cured, composted horse manure tilled in, another layer of compost. Till monthly and repeat as needed.

With our heat and plentiful rain my berm should be ready to plant in the fall.

Gerald has offered to return June/July to check on the progress. He has also offered to do a free soil test before I plant. :-()

:eek: I have to leave and return. I forgot to get some information that I want to include. Be right back!

This the tree I want to plant.

Drake Elm , Chinese Elm, Lace Bark Elm ( Ulmus parvifolia ) several of the newer cultivars are Emerald Isle and Emerald Vase.

Fast growing, relatively small, suitable for a subdivision lot with nice, dense shade and very small leaves that do not need to be raked or gathered. Also region suitable.

The surrounding plants will change with time. Initially I will incorporate herbs in the bed. As the tree grows and shades the bed I will rethink that. I know that I want lots of white and grey. White azaleas for sure. Mom has one that I love so I took some cuttings to root. I have a couple of large bowl pots with Easter Lilies - those will be planted on the berm. I have some dwarf gardenias that need to be moved. White flowers, dark green foliage and a lovely fragrance. Lamb's Ears and Dusty Miller scattered around for a tough of silver/grey. I have an assortment of wild, native Louisiana Irises that my baby brother harvested from a "Ditch Nursery". I will use those for pops of color. My baby sister has a nice assortment of white and variegated shade plants in her yard that I can scavenge.

Now all I need is patience. Anyone know where I can get some CHEAP? :hehe:

BTW - I am TRUELY BLESSED with the BEST Extension Office.

Thanks all for allowing me to ramble.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

toxcrusadr
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Re: Huge pile of sawdust from a ground stump.

Sounds fabulous...but three FEET of compost? How much ground tree is there (inches) and is there any actual soil? :-o
Tox

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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Huge pile of sawdust from a ground stump.

Tox - the center if the mass is 18" - 20" above grade. It extends 20' left to right and 23' front to back and slopes down to ground level.

A couple of years ago my Mother had 2 water oks removed. They were large but not nearly as large as this tree was. Her initial mound was 10"/12" at its center. She did nothing to it. It is now flush with the surrounding yard. She scattered some grass seed but the native St. Augustine is quickly taking over.

I WANT a Berm. I do need to build it up considerably. I also want to extend the Berm about 10' on the left side, looking from the patio. Adding material now and working it into the sawdust through out the summer will speed up the decomposition. My goal is a 18" to 24" center tapering to ground level on all sides. Considering decomposition it will take a lot of material to achieve a Berm that size and depth

So yes - I do need a lot of cured manure, grass clippings and city compost. BTW the city compost is fully cured and suitable for planting.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

toxcrusadr
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Re: Huge pile of sawdust from a ground stump.

That must have been a monster tree!

Won't all that organic matter continue sinking down over time? Seems like you'd need some soil in there if you want it to be a permanent berm.
Tox

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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Huge pile of sawdust from a ground stump.

It was a huge tree, 150+ year old Southern Live Oak. The diameter of the stump was no less than 4', probably more. The stump was ground to a depth of 6" below grade. That is why the center of the pile is so high. If the saw dust had been spread out I would have a huge hole in the center. Towards the end of the process I may have to work in some bulk soil. It depends on how fully decomposed the organic matter is.

What I am happy about is that none of the organic matter will cost me anything other than the time to pick it up, spread it out and till it in. Of course if I add soil I will have to pay for that. Since I still have my Landscape Contractor's license I can buy wholesale. We have a utility trailer so I don't have to pay a delivery charge. :-()
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

toxcrusadr
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Re: Huge pile of sawdust from a ground stump.

Free always tastes better, whether it's apples or compost!
Tox

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ElizabethB
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Huge pile of sawdust from a ground stump.

:clap:
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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