Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dead Man's Mulch



I arrived early, the line already formed for the free trees. There were four types -Kwanzan Cherry, Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan', Redbud, Cercis canadensis, Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa, and Carolina Silverbell, Halesia tetraptera. I happened to think the Bur Oak had fabulously interesting bark for a young tree, but I wasn't there for the young trees, I was there for the dead -the chipped wood pile.

And I was the only one. At first. Like that empty restaurant you pull into, it seemed as soon as I was bagging up, the pile was mobbed. No problem, there was plenty, and what they were giving away for free, I might've paid for.

This is the leaf and needle mold mixed with partially decomposed wood. It is an excellent, pine-earth scented mulch where I was only expecting plain old wood chips. I bagged 5 large to the point of splitting, then loaded them in the van, where they will remain until I fix the cat problem.

The wood chips are good enough for my intended use on the paths at the beach farm, and I will be back for more.

On my way out, the tree corral was dwindling, but the line remained strong.

You do not need to wait for an event to pick up free wood chips or mulch at Greenwood Cemetery. Go during open hours to the 5th Avenue gate and ask the guard to direct you to the mulch pile. Bring sturdy bags or containers and a shovel.

Free wood chips and mulch in parts of NYC may be a direct result of the Asian Longhorn Beetle and the subsequent quarantine program. Tastes like lemonade to me.


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