If you're like many modern homeowners, you're interesting in living a relatively green lifestyle that includes composting yard waste. However, not all vegetative debris can or should be composted. Following is a list of four things that you should ask your landscaping service to haul away instead of putting in your compost bin.

Diseased Plant Material

If you have recently had a tree removed from your property because it was diseased, don't be tempted to include its leaves and twigs in your compost pile. Ask your landscaping service to safely dispose of all traces of it. Pathogens and insect eggs can live on in vegetative debris, and by including such material in compost bins that will later be added to garden soil as an amendment, you run a serious risk of spreading the infection.

Plant Material That's Been Treated With Chemicals

Including vegetative material that has been treated with chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides will only reintroduce those substances into your soil after you incorporate the contents of your compost bin into your garden area. The inclusion of nitrogen-based fertilizers commonly applied to certain trees and widely used in vegetable gardens, for instance, can cause annual and perennials plants that are grown primarily for floral display to produce mainly leaves instead of flowers. Vegetative waste such as grass clippings that are high in nitrogen can be left as mulch on the surface of the lawn or used in vegetable gardens where nitrogen is a desired element.


One of the last things that you need to happen to your compost bin is a raging case of fungal organisms, so take particular care not to include vegetative waste in your compost bin that may be infected with fungal spores. For instance, never put anything that came from in or around a stump in your compost bin. Stumps provide damp environments that are highly conducive to the growth of fungal organisms, and because fungal spores are microscopic, you have no way of knowing whether or not they are present in stump debris. Other possibles sources of fungus include plant material that's been grown in deep shade, particularly in damp areas. Because certain types of fungus can be hazardous to human health, you should always err on the side of caution where it's concerned.

Twigs Over 1/2 Inch in Diameter

Twigs over 1/2 inch in diameter are simply too large to break down properly in the average compost pile. Although they will certainly decompose over time, they won't be in step with the other materials in your bin. Leave them to a yard debris removal service like Atlas Tree Service Inc too.