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Composting leaves.

In1988 I planted a walnut tree, its grown well and produced plenty of nuts, now 40ft high and was 40ft wide until I pruned it. All the leaves and smaller branches have been shredded,. This load I have stored in a large builders sand bag, approx. 1 cubic metre.   I have not added this directly to the compost heap, because something in the back of my mind, suggest they may be toxic. Can you please advise on this problem, and are there any other leaves and shreddings that would be best left off the compost heap? My wife is a keen flower arranger, so we have allsorts of pruning and leaves to dispose of, ideally with all my vegetable waste on the compost heap.



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    The Black Walnut tree is the most toxic, English Walnut is far less toxic, but composting degrades any toxins in walnut tree's. The advice is to not use as a mulch, but addition to a compost heap is recommended as long as there is plenty of contact with the soil and plenty of other material going in there, which it sounds as though you have. So an open air bin, plenty of mixing and turning with other compostable material should see the toxins break down naturally. 

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,089
    I cannot speak for walnut leaves but when I shred anything woody such as hazel or buddleia, I leave the shredded bits in a pile to rot down for a few months and then use them for mulch. You can put them them on the compost heap in small quantities but a major hedge trim can be a bit overwhelming. You can add all sorts of prunings to the compost heap providing the woodier bits are cut up into small pieces.
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