I need to dispose of a very large amount of Burgan (kunzea/tea trees) that I am removing from a part of a rural property it took over and is posing a fire danger.

The current pile is about 3x3x10 meters and there is a lot more to come.

I am trying to avoid the cost and labor of woodchipping, the land is forested with gumtrees and very sloped and I was considering perhaps I can simply stack the pile on the slope against some trees and half burying them and/or covering them with soil and leave them to decompose?

Any thoughts or ideas appreciated

  • 1
    What area do you live in? Are there regulations about burning brush or open fires?
    – kevinskio
    Jan 2, 2019 at 13:10

2 Answers 2


I take it you are in New Zealand? North or south?

First note is that while stacking on a slope might seem like a good idea, the fire threat remains and it probably would not do the existing trees much good. Need to be stacked in open ground if treated in a Hugelkultur fashion, that is covered with soil and allowed to rot over years. Some would claim that the fire threat remains even when covered with soil.

An ideal solution would be to see if someone else would bear the cost of chipping and shipping. Scout the local area for greenhouses using biomass as a fuel. If the grower is offered the fuel for free they might be prepared to have a large chipper go to the site, perform the grind straight into suitable trucks and then trucked back to the greenhouse site. Everything will depend of course on competing fuel supplies. A selling point might be that the Kunzea would be free of metal pieces (nails, screws) that would sometimes be found in construction waste after tub grinding. Another idea is to become familiar with the intrinsic value of Kunzea wood as fuel compared with other materials.

Second, talk to local landscaper/tree professionals. They may know of a local large construction project looking for chipped materials and might be willing to bear the cost of chip and ship.

  • good suggestions I will definitely ask around (Victoria Australia) thanks! getting rid of green waste seems to be a problem in the whole area
    – kofifus
    Jan 2, 2019 at 22:47

You've asked about composting and there is not a great, low-cost, low-effort, large-scale way to compost whole trees. If you have access to a chipper and a large quantity of nitrogen and a way to thoroughly mix the 2 materials then that would work, but that requires expensive machines or a lot of effort (or both) which is not your situation.

The closest thing I can think of is Hügelkultur where large logs can be buried. To quote wikipedia:

Hügelkultur is a horticultural technique where a mound constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials is later (or immediately) planted as a raised bed. Adopted by permaculture advocates, it is suggested the technique helps to improve soil fertility, water retention, and soil warming, thus benefiting plants grown on or near such mounds.

  • Thanks ! 'trees' is a bit misleading here .. it (was) a dense scrub with stalks mostly about 4-6cm diameter .. occasionally bigger
    – kofifus
    Jan 5, 2019 at 20:24

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