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Syntropy:'They're log paths that rot away over time/that protect the soil from compaction..'

There I was -- as is my want -- delving into Ernst Gotsch's Syntropy ways -- when the main thought I walk away with is logs of wood!

That fascinated me: he uses logs!

Enamored with the option I collected logs and started to lay them about the place  as borders. But they're not supposed to be borders -- at least not primarily.

They didn't zing! as borders.They got drowned in greenery...and their 'light' was under a bushel.

So I did some background research  logging logs...

They're log paths that rot away over time/that protect the soil from you walk to and fro the beds.

Unless you have access to a mighty mulcher, tree trimmings are problematical in suburbia as trees will grow bigger than your spouting and roof line expects.

Gotsch cuts the trees-- when he cuts them -- down to around chest height then uses the offcuts on the soil as pathways.

I'm not into the foresting thing so I'm not aspiring to be successional, but I do have trees as do my neighbours. And any good woodsman like myself has a chain saw: a corded electric one in my case.

You gotta: if you have trees and the wind doth belongs in your recovery tool kit.

Anyway I've now cut my lengths into sections and have begun to lay out my new paths.

That may not be my backyard in the above pic-- but that's the layout: parallel. Like a carpark.

Since my beds are bordered by Vetiver I've finally set upon the best way to sub divide these again -- north/south -- by laying down these log paths.

These are palm logs I got from a neighbour. I did them a favour.

I'll then end up with semi square beds bordered on three sides by Vetiver with a wooden pathways making up the fourth.

Sure makes sense to me. Especially as I begin another plant out.

These logs do not maketh the kings highway. Look at them: uneven and rough.  Not designed for wheelbarrows. Over time they may settle but they are not meant as everyday thoroughfares. Indeed, what you see is really walk on mulch. Just don't trip.

You 'could' use pavers -- or as my grandfather did, stepping stones -- but this is easy peasy recycling with a built in rot factor. I know the earth worms love the coolness and moisture underneath and will tolerate the foot traffic.

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In the light of day the highway  reveals itself.

When you begin to see the wood and the trees there is a lot of cellulose to be had from hither and yon. Use it — build your runways! And let it rot.

Jeez, you ripped into doing that mate!

Sure did. Just don't mess with me when I've got my hands full....

Planning to learn chainsaw I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK.

I'm not convinced your digits will work as well as the logs for paths.  

I won't bore you with more pictures of logs in the dirt...

I cut even more logs and laid further the paths.

But I will pontificate with some FYI advantages of such logging.

  1. When you trim a tree you'll have a size template to cut the branches to. That is you'll have a use in mind as you defend yourself from the storms with a chainsaw or clean up afterwards when the woody bits crash on the family car.
  2. Running the loggy bits parallel is remarkably sturdy under foot as they soon enough settle and stop shifting.
  3. Because they are so many bits of wood you can move the route of the path to suit your terrain and vegetation. Nor are they designed as permanent fixtures.They aren't heavy pieces either so it is an easy lift into another place.
  4. You won't need a mulcher and all of the cut stuff is recycled on your own property.
  5. Pathways are forever and can accept continuous donations of cut timber as rot and use kicks in.
  6. You'll have a path making reason to trim your trees.

The disadvantages?

  1. You need a lot of timber. That's where the neighbours may be useful. They'll love you for taking trunks and branches off their hands. Nothing need go to the dump.
  2. It may be easy and quick work sawing logs with a chainsaw, but you need at least two people to do  it.It isn't safe to cut logs by yourself. It isn't safe to do any tree work alone...they are such dangerous creatures.
  3. Termites? Wood mulch is termite friendly -- as indeed do all mulches as they foster coolness and moisture. But laying cellulose in the dirt is sure to offer termite takeaway.So keep checking your pathway logs for infestation. Just keep any logs a few metres from the house.

If the logs where split in half may make easier to walk on and double the number.

Stirling idea.  

I think you'll find that the logs are either too tall or too narrow to split. If you had large diameter logs splitting may make sense.  But splitting them with an axe...on fresh harvested wood?

Too dangerous I'd think -- and Ive been a keen wood chopper in my day.

[Also a friend of mine who owns a forest and is an astute harvester and conservationist of selected timbers/trees insists that you do not use a chainsaw while up a ladder. I thought I'd share that as it is the first mistake you can make if you allow your trees to get too large when you (should) want them just so. Gotsch is so right to recommend chest high maintenance and trim for most trees. Ticks a lot of sunshine and safety boxes. I may have a huge Silky Oak in my backyard but it's benign -- and so bird friendly.  ]

Getting back to the raison d'être we're talking about trimming trees (and stems like bananas) when they are at manageable height. Not felling them. Piece by piece. Then recycling the cut timber as mulch paths without having to bust a gut.

What else would you do with them if you aren't feeding a fire place? That was my conundrum.

I always get stuck with branches after I trim my trees -- and I can never find a ready use for them. Now I have one. My supply was enhanced because a neighbour cut down all their palms and I dragged the stems back home. But in normal habit, you'd just keep adding the logs to your paths each time you trim your trees.

Store pile up logs and you'll get is a snake hotel.

Of course you gotta have a 'need' for a path. and one into the vegey beds is an efficient design attribute enabling access for harvesting, planting & weeding.

Don't forget other timbers like untreated pallet timber or boards left over from builds or renovations. Even wood liberated from dumpsters...

The foot fall principle is the same in way of weight distribution on the ground.

It will rot of course -- just like my bamboo poles do -- but that means free compost.

Logs are split with wedges a lot of the logs look big enough to split .I had a heap of logs and put some in the garden as edges and after several years they where destroyed by fungus  that could be another option try and infect with a fungus that makes the logs break down.

Palms the frond have a lot of strength cross ways  but if cut into sections  can easily split length ways  and given enough time the fibers will separate have used as mulch under  trees  found best tool to cut up is a power saw  with old blade but keep the other hand well away from the saw..The soft part of the palm tree can either be pulled off by hand  or cut with secateurs .When they are cut off the frond  can put into a small bundle and trim into shorter lengths..When trees   are cut down there is no need to take to the dump can all be used in garden or as fire wood.


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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