The Q&A Archives: Rose wood sawdust and chips

Question: I have a source for rose wood sawdust and chips. I am concerned about the potential toxins that rose wood contains. Can you use rose wood sawdust and/or chips for pathways and/or mulch in the garden? I am concerned the toxins might leach out given our rainfall.

Answer: There aren't any conclusive studies on the use of rosewood (Tipuana tipu) sawdust or wood chips in the garden. The wood contains a large amount of oils (more than a cedar tree) but I don't know if it is allelopathic. The sawdust is reported to irritate mucus membranes so I doubt it would be good for paths, but might be acceptable as mulch in the garden. Wish I had more information on the subject. However, when in doubt, I'd rather avoid something with potential for harming the soil (or gardeners)!

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