The Q&A Archives: Poisonous pine mulch?

Question: I have recently been using chipped, untreated pine wood ( Pinus radiata - monterrey pine, available for free) as mulch. An agronomist friend commented that decomposing Pinus radiata wood is apparently poisonous to some plants.Is this so? Rodolfo Feick Vina del Mar Chile

Answer: I have seen no research to indicate that composted pine bark is poisonous to any plants and is detrimental in no way other than to rob the soil of a little nitrogen during further decomposition (which a little nitrogen fertilizer spread under the mulch would balance).

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