Wood mulch

Question: I just had a large tree cut down and the stump ground up. Now I have a big pile of ground wood mulch and sawdust. If I can recycle it, what do I need to do over the winter to make it usable? How long should I wait before I can use it? Also, I want to plant a new tree in the general vicinity of the old one. How long should I wait to plant close to the same spot? How far from the old stump should the new tree be placed? M.G., Dallas

Answer: The next tree can be planted in the same place, but you'll need to find enough native soil to backfill the planting hole. The backfill soil should match the site's existing soil.

Don't backfill with sawdust. Sawdust can be spread lightly around the site, but the best use would be to put it into the compost pile and mix it with other organic materials. If molasses is added, good compost will result in a few months.

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