I live in bucolic neighbourhood outside of town. Around here, when we trim evergreens we make a fire and burn them. It gives off a lot of smoke. Is this the best approach to deal with these?

Should I store them until they're dry and then burn them? Are these compost-able?

Nobody complains about the smoke, it just doesn't feel right.


Evergreen trimmings certainly are compostable, but if there are lots of large, woody branches, they'll take a very long time to compost down. If you have a shredder, you can speed that process up by shredding the wood first. If you dried out large branches, preferably removing the green leafy parts for composting first, they'd burn quicker and more cleanly, but only if you were able to store them for up to a year out of rain and damp.


I personally would shred them all and use it as tree mulch. Stuff that can't be shredded can be buried, and you can plant over it.

Although incinerating tree material is considered a carbon neutral activity, it doesn't take account of the loss of nutrient from the soil. The law of return says that which is taken from the ground must be returned otherwise there's a net loss of nutrients and therefore degradation of soil health.


Is there a way for your community to have a community composting scheme? Many benefits including bringing the community together. Or a local authority green collection/collection point? Personally I would only burn if it's the only option and last option. Failing that as others have suggested shred and compost all but diseased cut material.

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