Shredding Pine Cones

Arlithrien

Shohin
Messages
268
Reaction score
274
Location
Tampa, FL
USDA Zone
9b
Has anyone thought of shredding Pine cones as a substitute for pine bark? The area I'm in currently is mostly pine forest and cones are everywhere this time of year. I have found that after a few weeks they become brittle and are easily broken down with a hammer although a woodchipper would be more ideal.

What I don't know is if they have similar qualities to pine bark and would be one less component I have to source online.
 

bwaynef

Omono
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
988
Location
Upstate SC
USDA Zone
8a
A bag of "Soil Conditioner" at Lowes is so easily had that I never considered anything else for the pine bark component in my mix when I used that. Exactly how much money are you trying to save ...and what's your time worth?
 

Wires_Guy_wires

Masterpiece
Messages
3,403
Reaction score
5,306
Location
Netherlands
Cones contain way more resin than bark does, it didn't seem to break down at all in the two years I've used them in my soil.
I also found a lot of bugs living in there, munching on the seeds. If they can chew through the husk, then they can probably chew through anything else as well.

Keep in mind that the scales in pine cones are designed to open and close in relation to moisture exposure. This mechanism stays functional even when they're chopped down to smaller bits. It could lead to unwanted movement in your soil because of this mechanism.
 

Arlithrien

Shohin
Messages
268
Reaction score
274
Location
Tampa, FL
USDA Zone
9b
I've read the resin breaks down after a few weeks when the pinecone begin to decompose. As for the bugs, what people typically do is microwave/bake/boil them when using pinecones for arts & crafts. I've mixed shredded pinecone into one of my plants, we'll see how it does. Other than that I'm using them as a top dressing mulch for winter protection.
 

Arlithrien

Shohin
Messages
268
Reaction score
274
Location
Tampa, FL
USDA Zone
9b
Our next contender is pecan shells. Equally or more acidic than pine bark, this byproduct of a delicious treat is easily crushed into small particle size with a rolling pin. I happen to live near what used to be a pecan orchard, and theres thousands of these on the ground this time of year. Pecans contain jugalone like walnuts, so they may not be safe for all plants. Proceed with caution.

20201206_185133.jpg
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom