Rhododendrons: mulch for rhodos

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by erm, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. erm

    erm Member

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    south surrey, bc, canada
    A Douglas fir is being removed and the branches will be chipped. Could I use the fir chips as part of a mulch around small shrubs, mostly rhododendrons? Would the chips need to weather for a while first? Also, would fir cones, ground with a lawnmower, be a good component for rhodo mulch?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes to both, but best to let them weather for a bit first.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Spread immediately. Nutrients in fresh material will then be leaching out and into rhododendron root zones. I've put a yellowish rhododendron into a fresh hot pile and had it green up nicely.

    Only possible issue with fresh material spread under rhododendrons is sun reflecting up onto leaf undersides and burning them. (This has happened at a local collection using fresh sawdust). If rhododendrons not out where sun beats down long enough to make this possible then no problem. Aged chips darker and older, apparently less light-reflective then fresh ones.
     

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