Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Composting Trees

By Skeeter I recently found a great surprise in my Georgia Garden. See the wood from a cut tree stacked up against the fence? This wood was cut and put into place some time in the year 2005. This was before a Semi-Formal Flower Garden was in place. The wood sat there as you see it for a long time. Then Blogging came into my world. I found our Master Gardener Tina's Blog and then had inspiration. With all the talk of Composting, I decided it was time for me to have a compost bin of sorts. So the Saint and I took the logs down one by one and rearranged them to form 3 walls. It was as if we were children playing with our Lincoln Logs! Not really as these logs were still heavy and full of water although the bark was falling off most of the pieces. I snapped pictures of the project but I cannot find them on file anywhere. Just use your imagination today if you will. I have been putting tables scraps such as coffee grinds, egg shells, veggie & fruit peel, etc into this bin and growing worms like crazy! Without my pictures, I am not sure how long this compost bin has been in place but I am guessing 3 years. Today I go out to put in my bowl full of yummy for the worms and look what I found. With all the rains we have been receiving, the wood logs are now breaking down at an extreme rate. This stuff looks like something a Gardener would pay good money for at a Garden Center! I had my little hand shovel with me as I always cover my kitchen scraps with dirt. I took my hand shovel and hit the logs a bit and the stuff was falling into the compost pile!

Click on the Video to see how easy this was. I am right handed and was holding the camera with my right hand while chopping with my clumsy left hand. If I could have gotten to it with my right hand, I would have put a woodpecker to shame with my pecks! Once the weather gets nicer, the Saint and I will see what we can do to help the process along, maybe by using a larger shovel.

I hope this once tall tree will be gold for the Garden. This is a long process and I never knew I was COMPOSTING TREES, In the Garden...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Looks good! That compost is definitely valuable stuff...I have tried composting but it's really a chore for me here in California as our hot, humidity-free summers quickly dry out the piles.

  2. what a great and happy suprize for you. that does look like something every gardener would want.
    happy march.

  3. Wow! How nice. My pile is frozen, I can't tell what it's doing.

  4. How wonderful to find 'gold' in your own property. I'm sure it will be wonderful for your gardens.


  5. It is worth doing compost with materials available. With woods, the waiting period is much longer of course, but worth every ounce of our effort. In our garden at Putrajaya, compost is always grass, cuttings and banana leaves and stems. ~bangchik

  6. Very resourceful! I wouldn't have thought of logs as walls.


  7. Great idea Skeeter. I've seen logs do this. Had I known then I could have bagged it up & brought it home. It's so nice to ramble through the woods. You never know what you might find.
    I have one of those fancy com posters & I could have saved my money for all they do.

  8. It looks like the logs made a great bin! Just be careful of termites.

  9. I think it neat you scheduled this one as I have one similar to it set to go Friday on how trees break down. I think you do indeed have gardeners gold there! Composting is great and even composting trees is good indeed. I like your method-let time do it.

    I looked back thru the published posts because I remember when you built the compost bin and shed to park the mower but I could not find it anywhere. Perhaps you remember posting it? It should be on here somewhere.

  10. What a lovely surprise for you. The trees will make wonderful compost, in a few years, for your garden.

  11. It looks great and I know you will make great use of it.

  12. Great idea, Skeeter, using the material at hand. S'pose there are termites helping out?

  13. Everything rots eventually!

    Looks like something good to build up the "organic matter" we all want for our gardens.

  14. That does look like someone would pay a lot of money for it! And your "green" kitchen scraps need some "browns" anyway, so, yay on the logs decomposing!

  15. Good Morning everyone! Icky drizzle and cold day in GA. Where oh where is Spring???

    Parsec, I will trade you my compost bin for no humidity in the summer :-)...

    Marmee, Happy March to you too. Even though the day is icky today, I know spring is soon to arrive…

    Dawn, Keep your frozen compost up there girl. I am so ready for Spring….

    Flowerlady, I am really excited about this gold, hum, if only it were the real gold then I would be more excited…

    Bangchik, I put all garden materials in the bin but no weeds. The grass we use a mulching mower so it stays on the lawn…

    Cameron, I think my childhood skills of playing in the woods with my brothers and us making cabins from limbs and stuff came to play here. hee hee…

    Lola, I had thought of getting a plastic compost bin but figured our many pesky squirrels would chew holes in it so decided to give this a try. I am thinking that once the logs have all composted, I will just continue to use this area to toss my scrapes as I don’t really feel I need a wall to keep it all in place…

    Dave, I have kept my eyes open for termites and never saw any so I think I am safe here…

    Tina, Great minds think alike! I think this was back when you were going through the newspaper but not sure. I believe I sent you the pictures as I was not blogging then. I have them somewhere but could not find them after looking for a long time. I also looked to all links in the blog but could not find it. Oh well, I gave up and no big deal as everyone can use their imaginations today. I will run across them some day and think, now why did I file them there, lol…

    Melanie, I hope they will all break down in time and be used in the garden…

    Jean, I have been using the dirt when planting with putting a cup in with my soil. So good to make your own fertilizer…

    W2W, I have been on the lookout for termites but never saw any. The wood seem to dry out on its own and now breaking down with the rains. My lucky day…

    llona, I just hope everything in my garden likes acid as these were pine trees…

    Monica, I have put other things in the compost bin as well. Such as horse manure, all dead’s from the garden to include flowers and veggies stems branches, roots etc. The dirt it has made is pure black and so full of worms too. My own little clump of gold…

  16. Very well done Skeeter! Many good use of the logs in a couple of ways.

  17. Hello there,
    my heart beets quicker when seeing such lovely treecompost:- I am too an eager composter, while nothing is as exciting as collaborating with the worms:-)

    Ao, I'm happy for you and for your garden plants!
    Greetings from Hillevissan in Sweden.

  18. Janet, as if a child playing with her Lincoln Logs, hee hee. I really enjoyed building things with those little toys. I am surprised I did not become an architect...

    Hillevissan, Hello back at you! When I was a child I was not scared of worms like most girls I knew. I find them most interesting! Thanks for stopping by today...

  19. That's great that it's breaking down for you like that. You'll have to build new walls now that the old ones have become compost.

  20. That's a good find for the garden...and a great start for the composter. gail

  21. Logs as walls of a compost bin is a good idea. Simple but elegant -- and effective! I'll have to try that.

  22. What a great idea Skeeter! I've been puzzling over what to do with some larger branches and I think a 'long term' compost pile might be just the answer - thanks :)

  23. Skeeter, this reminds me of something I did last year. I found a large piece of an old log and thought it would make a nice accent in my butterfly garden. I tried to carry it, but wound up rolling it half the way to that garden because it was so heavy. By the time I got there, I picked it up, and it fell to pieces, just like your composting logs:)

    I've been looking for an inexpensive way to build a compost bin this year to enclose my messy compost pile. Your "log cabin" method sounds like a winner!

  24. A few years ago, we tried doing this in our school garden. The district maintenance people came and took the logs away! They couldn't figure out why we would possibly want a bunch of old rotten logs around! Glad to see yours will fulfill their destiny