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Huge amount of oleander-can I compost it?

 
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Hi all,

I live in Spain 🇪🇸 zone 9-10.

I'm cutting my 5-6m high oleander hedge right down as it is close to knocking a wall down in strong winds.

I estimate I'll end up with 15-20 big builders bags full of the prunings.

I'm trying to be closed loop, so if I leave the bags stacked up out of the way somewhere, I'm assuming they'll break down into a useable mulch.

How long would I need to leave them for to remove toxicity?  I'm aware that the Big bags aren't going to provide optimal composting conditions.  Would a year be enough?

Thank you for any help!
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Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (Cfb - oceanic temperate)
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That's a tough one. What I remember of oleander in a dry, hot environment is that it did not like to break down. Leaves and branches just laid on the ground would sit there unchanged for a really long time (as in well over a year). I did try running a lawnmower over a pile of fresh prunings once in an effort to get something compostable, but that was a lot of work and when it was done I still had to move the stuff with rake and pitchfork...you really don't want it on your skin.

I think letting it dry out completely in the bags is actually your best bet. After it's been sitting for a year, the toxic stuff in it should be mostly denatured and at that point you could carefully break it up and use it as mulch, or add it to a working compost pile with lots of greens.
 
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Personally, I would take them out the bags and let them compost in a big heap out of the way somewhere.

We have a large laurel hedge, that makes cyanide gas when the leaves are cut. The smell is very distinctive! It has always just gone into our compost heap where it is completely broken down to compost within 12 months.  The toxic compounds in these plants are broken down readily by bacteria and fungi in a good active compost heap, so I would expect your stuff to end up the same.

Composting of Oleander - academic paper, suggesting it is safe to compost
 
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I have always been told that oleanders are toxic if cut so they are not trimmed.

Jen said, Oleander is extremely poisonous. The leaf, bark roots , flowers, everything.



https://permies.com/t/182716/cycle-fun-tunnel#1439563

Jen said,  I know Oleander's poison dissipates after 50 days of composting, I just didn't want to deal with it, especially knowing there would be leaves, and maybe even flowers mixed in.  



https://permies.com/t/121882/Wood-chip-selection#978710

This sounds like it is okay to compost ...

Lauren said,  Moreover, on tests conducted by UC Davis researchers, the toxin was not taken up by vegetables such as lettuce (which grow quickly) and tomatoes (which take longer to mature). The only possible danger the researchers noted could come from accidentally ingesting some not-fully deteriorated Oleander compost when harvesting leafy vegetables such as lettuce.



https://permies.com/t/118644/Oleander#960314
 
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