Wood in compost piles

celscan added on September 12, 2016 | Answered

I put a few thick wood pieces (about 3-4 inches) in my compost pile. Of course, I don´t expect they will decompose in 4 months, but will they release beneficial bacteria to it? Is it better to cut them in chips for this purpose?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 13, 2016

The large pieces of wood won't break down as quickly as everything else, but yes, they will help beneficial bacteria and fungi grow in the compost. Some people place larger pieces of wood and sticks at the very bottom of a compost pile and place everything else on top of it to give the pile a microbial boost. And there are some composting methods based on using larger pieces of wood:

For faster decomposition, many people of course prefer to add chopped up sticks or sawdust:

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