Old sawdust as mulch for new plantings?

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Johnny Apple Graft
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:57 pm

Old sawdust as mulch for new plantings?

Post by Johnny Apple Graft »

Hello all, myapple trees are shipping to me next week. I have the deer fence up and I am about to dig the holes. My property was logged in the 1960's and I found the old sawdust pile from where they ran the onsite sawmill. It is chocolate brown and full of roots by now. Would that make good mulch around the new whips? I want to maintain a three foot radius of zero vegetation around the trees.
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:12 am

Re: Old sawdust as mulch for new plantings?

Post by nutmegct »

I'm no expert, but I'd be *very* reluctant to use anything which is full of roots as a mulch. And if it's old sawdust, it's likely full of mold specific to the variety of tree the sawdust came from.

Take a look at Tom Burford's "Apples of North America". He recommends adding about six inches of [good] mulch, being careful not to let the mulch actually touch the trunk of the tree.

Also, Phillips's "The Apple Grower". He gives several pages of advice on proper mulches, uses of mulch, and mulch composition.

Hope this helps.
Tom M.
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