Oleander waste

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Kriticat

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Oleander waste
« on: July 18, 2015, 12:10:29 PM »
Since all parts of the oleander are toxic I don't really want to compost all the prunings (a massive amount this year).
Locals advise to throw it into the riverbed but this doesn't feel right at all! If it's left in a pile it will be a fire hazard...any suggestions?
20 years gardening on a handkerchief in London, now creating a much bigger plot in the south of Crete...much to learn

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Alisdair

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Re: Oleander waste
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2015, 08:32:49 AM »
Do you have a municipal refuse collection point near you? If so you could perhaps put the waste material in bags and leave it there. (Even if you didn't have the fire hazard problem, burning it's not a good idea as even the smoke could be toxic.)
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Kriticat

  • Newbie
Re: Oleander waste
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2015, 11:39:55 AM »
We're a long way from the dump, and anything left by the bins seem to get left for ages (changing the location of the fire hazard but not the risk!) . Besides, it would take a small mountain of plastic bags to contain all the 'cuttings', these things, planted by previous owners, have gone wild! I will see if I can borrow a trailer to haul it to the official dump. Thanks anyway
20 years gardening on a handkerchief in London, now creating a much bigger plot in the south of Crete...much to learn

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JTh

  • Hero Member
Re: Oleander waste
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2015, 02:38:07 PM »
Oleanders are toxic, no doubt about that, so don't eat them, but some of the scares seem rather exaggerated, there are studies showing that composting is an easy way to destroy oleandrin, as shown in the article  'Toxicity of Oleander Derived Compost' http://slosson.ucdavis.edu/newsletters/Downer_199829067.pdfe, which concludes that:

Composting is an effective method means of destroying one of the toxic glycosides in oleander. The composting process causes a rapid decline in oleandrin concentration and eventually its complete disappearance from the compost.

further:

It appears from our growth studies that oleandrin is not transported into plants.

I wouldn't recommend eating fresh oleander compost, though.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.