London (change)
14 messages
19/10/2013 at 12:17

Hello. I'm relatively new to gardening and would like some help identifying the tree in the photos. I'm setting up a new compost pile as you can see but dont want to locate it under the tree if the berries are poisonous. Any ideas? I'm pushed to think it is a hawthorn but obviously want to be sure there are no poisonous alternatives as the compost will be used for fruit and veg. Any advice welcome.




19/10/2013 at 13:57

Andrew, yes, that is definitely hawthorn.  However, don't worry about putting poisonous plants or berries onto your compost heap.  The bacteria in compost heaps will happily break down any type of plant material into harmless compost and there is absolutely no danger of any plant poisons remaining and being taken up into your vegetables when the compost is later used on them.


19/10/2013 at 15:07

That is hawthorn, not poisonous and Bob is right about the compost. Just in case you want a second opinion!

19/10/2013 at 16:27

Absolutely agree with the above.

As an example, rhubarb leaves are poisonous - when pulling rhubarb, twist the leaves from the stalks and put them on the compost heap.  They will rot down, contribute to the compost and cause no harm whatever. 

19/10/2013 at 19:24

Thats great thanks very much for your help. Is it true what i've read on some sites about it being risky putting bills and junk mail into the heap because of the ink?? I have plenty of correspondence I was hoping to eventually grow a few potatoes in! 

19/10/2013 at 19:38

I think that used to be the case Andrew - heavy metals were iused in coloured inks.  Those inks have long since been banned though and I'm sure I remember Monty saying he composts all of his junk mail.   Tear it up into as small peices as you can manage though and mix it well with soft green stuff or it'll take ages to break down.

19/10/2013 at 20:04
I'd let the council recycle paper personally takes too long to compost for my liking. I prefer to compost organics
19/10/2013 at 21:39
In the spring and summer hawtorne leaves make a great addition to a salad, sprinkle them in with whatever other salad leaves you have, lovely.
19/10/2013 at 22:53

Arn't you lucky having such a beautiful tree, the birds will love the berries, in spring the blossom will be lovely for Bee's and Butterflies and Hoverflies.  

20/10/2013 at 09:14

My neighbour has a hawthorn and we get loads of self sets I'm forever on watch for them, they grow rapidly. I just wondered if it was a good idea to have berries falling into your compsot, as you'll have self sets all over.

20/10/2013 at 10:07

Seedlings are easy to pull up, and yes, a beautiful tree you have.

20/10/2013 at 10:13

Hester I must be weak  I find that when they get to about 6" high they have to be dug out, and the sneaky ones that grew behind the shed really took some getting out.

20/10/2013 at 10:14

OOPs compsot..Compost

20/10/2013 at 17:10

yes i have a wild life garden and have noticed

they sneak in among other plants like ivy does.

you have to be quick  to pull them out

or the root is stronger than me!!

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14 messages