Rose wood sawdust and chips - Knowledgebase Question

Arcata, CA
Avatar for mscole2002
Question by mscole2002
September 27, 2005
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 from NGA
September 27, 2005
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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