I've cleared 200 baby pines from my terraces. There are between pinky-sized and wrist-sized. I can either pile and burn them or...
The lady at the nursery said a word that sounded like she was clearing her throat. She translated it to cow horns. Which didn't help me at all. But she said, yes, chop into 2' sections, pile up, and add other stuff as I can. It will take a while, but it will compost.
OK, first, if she wasn't yanking my chain about the throat-clearing cow horns word, I can do this. I'd rather compost -- and I have an area and I am patient. But I really don't have other things to add to the pile. Grass clippings stay on the yard. In the fall, pIne needles and fallen leaves are used as mulch on flower beds. There aren't any scraps because I have dogs. I don't drink coffee because I can't stand the smell/taste of it...
Can pine scraps and nothing but pine scraps ever make something useful?
Maybe "hugelcultur"? Burying piles of wood and letting it rot slowly underground, where it acts like a sponge, holding a lot of water? That method assumes that you will pile greens and some sopil over top the woodpile, and grow on top of the hill.
I would have though that lots of wood underground would cause a nitrogen deficiet as it deocmposed. Maybe leaving the wood in big chunks isntead of chips helps that, or burying it deep helps keep the nitrogen deficiet away from roots.
I think it must help speed up the rotting process if you add SOME greens.
Minnesippi - My heart breaks for the folks of Duluth. But these are 5-20' pine trees and already chopped down. When the tonadoes devasted northern Alabama/Georgia and parts of Tennessee last year, the most desperately needed things were water and diapers. I'll look into making a donation.
Rick - to add greens, I'd have to buy them, and it would be more practical to just buy compost at that point... so I guess I wonder what I could do with a bunch of pine tree ASHES?