Ask a Question forum: Wood ashes placed next to cedar trees winter thru spring 2017

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Burlington, Vermont
Cedarquestion
Jun 3, 2017 3:21 PM CST
My neighbor is putting wood ashes from her wood stove one foot from my 3 foot arborvitae trees.
She takes them directly out of her stove, not hot, and does this every week or so. I am afraid she will kill my trees which have only been there for two years. Will this hurt my trees. When the wind blows they ashes blow toward the trees.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 3, 2017 6:18 PM CST
Welcome!

Its not blowing ash you need to worry about but rather the change in Ph of the soil. Wood ash combines with water to form lye - the wood ash will turn your soil more and more alkaline. A little (Little) wood ash is great if your soil is acidic. But in your case, the soil will become more and more alkaline. Arborvitae are really picky about their soil - they want it to be neutral (about 7). Much above (alkaline) or below (acidic) and the Arborvitae will not be able to access the nutrients in the soil. No matter how much you fertilize, the Arborvitae will starve.

If you are able, scoop up as much ash as you can and dispose of it. Then talk to this neighbor and ask her to dispose of her ashes in the garbage or under her own trees?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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