Can Gum Tree leaves be used for Mulch?

@jennybianca (12914)
Australia
April 25, 2007 2:22am CST
I don't expect too many people to be able to answer this question, except maybe other Aussies, & those in countries that can grow our gum trees. Whenever my husband cuts down branches from one of our huge gum trees, he mulches up the leaves & spreads it everywhere, but partiucularly near my plants, most of which are native. The gum leaves have been put through the mulcher first. The problem is, I heard a rumour that gum leaves, or gum twigs & branches (all mulched) are not good for plants or the soil. I want to know if this is true? I am really trying to improve my garden & want to do the right thing. PS. Have a look at the magnificent photo of a gum tree if you have time.
1 person likes this
6 responses
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
25 Apr 07
Do you know the name of the tree? There are several trees that would fall into that category. I would guess it is an Acacia senegal or Acacia catechu but can not be positive unless you tell me. Nothing that is recently shredded is good for mulch. It robs the soil of nitrogen to decompose so your plants will be deprived. I know other people do it but it doesn't make them right. Nitrogen will be removed from the soil to help decompose the recently shredded material. It should be aged or you should apply a fertilizer rich in Nitrogen such as compost before you use it. It will help balance things.
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
26 Apr 07
The gum trees were here when I bought this house many years ahgo, so I am not sure what kind they are? They are large, with a greyish trunk that shreds it's bark once each year. I guess that wasn't much help. There seems yo be varying opinion with the responses I get, but yours nade sense. My husband just chopped the gum up & threw it straight on the garden, so it is recent. I think I better buy nitrogen before I try to grow more plants in the area where this gum mulch is. Maybe I better rake it off!
1 person likes this
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
27 Apr 07
You can buy blood meal. It is an organic fertilizer that will help provide nitrogen as it decomposes. Potassium sulfate provides a quick boost. Ammonia that you clean with will also work. I never use the lemon scented. Just the clear stuff. I looked at the photo in your profile. Although I am familiar with plants from Australia such as Xanthorrhoea, I am not very familiar with the plants in your area. If that makes any sense. LOL Do you know if there is any known pests to the "gum tree"? If so it will probably attract them to the areas you used them as mulch.
1 person likes this
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
27 Apr 07
If this is a Eucalyptus tree the oil is a fire hazard. If you have home owner's insurance and your house catches on fire they might not reimburse you for damages. The oil is what creates the blue haze on warm Australian days.
@cooky28 (739)
• Australia
25 Apr 07
Dont worry about it i have been using them for years as mulch it is ok the thicker the better good luck.
2 people like this
@Calais (10900)
• Australia
25 Apr 07
I suppose it is good for the garden, our nurseries up here sell bulk mulch with natives in it. But they sell absoltely tonnes of Eucymulch (eucalyptus). It breaks down in the bush naturally, and I have never heard of natives being bad for natives.
2 people like this
@shoelover (896)
• Australia
25 Apr 07
I know that gum trees have eucalyptus in them which I think would be hazardous to use as mulch as it would be a fire harzard. I also think the eucalyptus may burn other plants. I myself would not use them. We found when we had a gum tree that nothing grew under it. Hope this helps.
2 people like this
@eaforeman6 (8983)
• United States
26 Apr 07
Garden under Gum Trees Factsheet - Gardening Australia - ABC It is often difficult to establish a garden under gum trees since they create an ... has been used as mulch, avoiding the trunks and surface roots of trees. ... www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s124492.htm http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s124492.htm hope this information helps with the information on gum trees for mulch.
1 person likes this
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
27 Apr 07
It is often difficult to establish anything under a canopy. There is not a lot of direct sunlight and days are shorter in a forest. But it does not apply to this situation. Pine trees have a chemical in their needles that prevents things from growing under them.
1 person likes this
@gharinder (2044)
• India
27 Apr 07
well everyplant that has to be used as mulch, is degraded by the microorganisms and returns back the elements in the soil, they also helps to conserve water. if the leaves of eucalyptus tree contains any biochemical compound it probably might harm the plants or the soil. so you can use it as a mulch in a small part of the garden and you can easily find out if it is causing any harm
1 person likes this