California pepper tree mulch: is it terminal?

darthtrader(10 SoCal)March 15, 2013

Much like eucalyptus, california pepper trees have allelopathic properties. A load of wood chips from a local tree service contained pepper tree chippings as well as citrus trees. It's already been spread over a few stone fruit trees. How concerned should I be about this mulch retarding or possibly killing my fruit trees?

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Slim to none?

I've gotten heavy loads of eucalyptus mulch from trimmers with no issues.

I think the problem is more where those trees are growing with active root systems.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:43PM
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darthtrader(10 SoCal)

Cool. Thanks melineeatplants. So much conflicting info out there on the web. Good to get info from a person who actually has first hand experience.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:32AM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

I've used eucalyptus wood chips & leaves with no particular issues.

Plant oils break down fairly quickly.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 1:24AM
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alan haigh

Where I've occasionally had a problem with wood chip mulch is fresh and in the vegetable garden on young vegetables. The actual research I've seen is that you can rarely harm a tree with alleopathic mulch and I use tons of mulch from unidentified trees in my fruit tree nursery and in scores of home orchards every season.

What was said about such compounds leaching out quickly is correct- but it can take about 6 months of rainy weather as I recall. Fresh mulch may leach some of these compounds but not enough to noticeably affect young trees in my experience.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Here I have 150 oleanders forming a hedge or screen. When I cut them back I have a lot of wood which is chipped and shredded and used for mulch with no problems. Not with the garden or the chipper operator. Al

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 11:19AM
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darthtrader(10 SoCal)

Wanted to revisit this thread and thank all the contributors. It's been less than a week and this stuff is already breaking down nicely and my new stone fruit trees seem to like it okay. They're still putting shoots out like crazy. Thanks all!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 3:59AM
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