Stump Grounds for Mulch

Asked October 28, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT

I recently had a walnut tree removed from my yard. The tree service also ground the stump which has left a large pile of wood grounds. Can I use this as mulch for my flower beds and bushes? If so, is there anything I'll need to add to them before I do this? Thanks.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Walnut trees have a toxin in their roots which is toxic to many other plants. This toxin (juglans) will dissipate as the mulch is aging and decomposing over time, You should be able to use the mulch in 6 months, however the rate of decomposition varies somewhat depending on weather (heat and moisture increase the rate.)

It's likely that you can use the mulch by May, but you may want to do a little test first by putting it on something small like a tomato seedling to be sure it is safe before you spread it all over your landscape.